The Employment Services Act, No. 4 of 2014 (ESA) was assented to by the President on 3 April 2014 and promulgated in the Government Gazette as legislation on 7 April 2014. The Act will come into operation on a date to be proclaimed by the President in the Government Gazette.

In terms of s10 of the ESA, the Minister of Labour may make regulations requiring employers to notify the Department of Labour of any vacancy or new position within their establishments.

Many employers have raised an eyebrow at the onerous reporting obligation this provision has 'introduced'. However, the obligation to report vacancies to the State is already currently contained in s23(3) of the Skills Development Act, No. 97 of 1998 (SDA).

S23(3) of the SDA provides that the Minister of Labour may require each employer to notify a labour centre (which centres were to be established in terms of the SDA) of any vacancy that may exist within that employer's organisation.

Therefore, the ESA does not fundamentally change the current legal position regarding an employer's duty to report on vacancies as outlined in the SDA. However, the reason why employers are not at present required to report vacancies to the State is because the Minister of Labour has not issued the requisite notice and/or regulations under the SDA requiring employers to do so and to facilitate the reporting process.

The ESA therefore simply moves the reporting obligation from the SDA to the ESA. Consequently, the ESA has not introduced anything new in this regard.