APSO understands that Employment Services regulations will allow a grace period (during implementation stages of the new legislation) allowing any agency that is in possession of a valid PEA to be exempted from re-licensing for the duration (validity period) of that certificate or for two years from the date of promulgation, whatever comes first. For this reason APSO is highly encouraging all members to review their PEA certificates and to apply now if yours has, or will within the next 6 months, expire.
Unfortunately there seems currently to be some confusion between different Department of Labour offices and their processes are not 100% standardised. We therefore offer the following guidance based on our best knowledge and engagements with Department of Labour: Employment Services division, but request that if you come across anything different or encounter any difficulty, to let Sino Sume, our Ethics & Compliance Officer know. She is best reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0861 42 62 82. To assist you, please find some more information below:
What is a PEA Certificate?
This is a certificate issued to recruitment companies by the Department of Labour. The Private Employment Agency Certificate (PEA) is issued after the Department of Labour has conducted a site visit and should be renewed every 2 years, or when the business moves or makes any fundamental change.
All agencies offering private employment services for gain (fee-charging) must register with the Department of Labour. In terms of Skills Development Act, Section 24(1) – (4):
(1) Any person who wishes to provide employment services for gain must apply for registration to the Director-General in the prescribed manner.
(2) The Director-General must register the applicant if satisfied that the prescribed criteria have been met.
(3) If the Director-General—
(a) Registers an applicant, the prescribed certificate must be issued to the person; or
(b) Refuses to register an applicant, the Director-General must give written notice if the decision to the applicant
(4) A registered employment service must comply with the prescribed criteria.
In terms of Section 33(d) of the Skills Development Act, 1998, it is an offence for any person to keep or conduct an employment office for any person unless s/he is in possession of a Certificate of Registration issued under S24(3)(a) of the Act.
The application for the registration of an employment service for gain application form (contained in the file library below) must be completed and submitted in triplicate. The application form must be accompanied by the following documents:
* Company Registration Documents
* SARS Registration
* COIDA and UIF Registration (and potentially also proof of good standing)
How do you apply for the Department of Labour PEA Certificate?
The applications must be submitted to your nearest Department of Labour office, in person. It is important that the forms are submitted to the centre closest to you, as the Department of Labour Centres work according to jurisdiction and can only process the applications in their vicinity. Please note too that all offices (including branches) are required to apply for their own certificate at their nearest Department of Labour office.
Once your application is received, an inspector from the Department of Labour will arrange a meeting at your offices where the site visit will be conducted. Please find below (in the file library) a list of Department of Labour centres and their contact information broken down per province.
How much does it cost to register with the Department of Labour for a PEA Certificate?
There is currently no charge for registering as a private employment agency however the new regulations, expected to come into effect soon, will mean licensing at a fee. It is for this reason that APSO highly encourages all members to review their PEA certificate and renew as soon as possible.
What should one expect when the Department of Labour does their visit?
Although each inspector may operate slightly differently, they would look at the following things:
* Confirmation of the company’s details – physical address, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and fax numbers. This information can be submitted in the form of a company letterhead.
* Have the statutory registrations been completed and is the company in good standing? This would include SARS registrations, UIF Registrations, COIDA (Compensation Commissioner) etc
* Is there a proper filing system and are records relating to candidates, placements and clients kept accurately and for the prescribed 3-year period?
* Is the office compliant in terms of Occupational Health and Safety Act? E.g.: Sufficient ventilation, first aid box, regularly serviced fire extinguishers etc.
* Do you have a visible sign that says: “No charge to candidates”
* Are the BCEA, EEA, and OHSA posters displayed in the office where employees can see them?
* Are your employment contracts in line with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act?
* If this is a renewal application: Has your previous PEA Certificate been displayed on a wall in the office or on your website as prescribed?
Why not review the "Guide to Surviving the Dept of Labour PEA inspection" document below to give you more information?
What else must one keep in mind?
Your certificate is dependent on all information (as at the time of application) remaining the same. Therefore any address changes must be made known to the Department of Labour. Where you have moved premises you will have to complete a new application and submit it to the Department of Labour Centre closest to their new premises. A new certificate reflecting the new address will be issued once the inspectors have conducted a visit. Where a private employment agency has more than one office, each office must register for a private employment agency certificate at the Department of Labour Centre closest to that branch. The branch may not use the same certificate as the head office.