DPSM reviews Public Service Act

Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) has started reviewing the Public Service Act of 2008, which was enacted in 2010.

The Public Service Act No 30 of 2008 was a result of the ratification of three International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions by the government in 1997.

Director of DPSM Ruth Maphorisa, recently said the decision to review the Act, came after consultations over the years, which had shown that a comprehensive review was needed.

Maphorisa also said the review was expected to close gaps within the Act, in a bid to better protect public service employees.

“Through the Act, we will be able to close gaps that were created when the Act was introduced and we will be able to provide a comprehensive guidelines meant to improve the public service delivery while at the same time protecting both the employer and the employee,” she said.

Maphorisa further explained that the review of the Act comes after the Cabinet in 2012 gave authority for its amendment after it was enacted in 2010. 

She said during its amendment, a roll out plan was developed which included consultations with key stakeholders, including Service Trade Unions.

Maphorisa said they were confident that the review would close gaping holes left in or by the Act and would be ready for approval by the Cabinet.

“The Draft of the Public Service Bill is now at an advanced stage, and DPSM has already submitted Ministries’ final comments to the Attorney General with a view to finalising the exercise, after which the Bill will be submitted to Cabinet for approval,” she said.

Maphorisa further said the amendment was to among other things, align the Act to the provisions of the Constitution, harmonise the Act with other National Labour Laws such as Employment Act, Trade Disputes Act and Trade Unions and Employers Organisations Act.

It was also expected to address gaps in the Act created by the repeal of other Employing Authorities Acts like the Teaching Service Act and further address inconsistencies within the Act especially the exclusion of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), punishments for misconduct within the public service.

Moreover, it was to provide transitional savings for issues affecting conversion of Industrial Employees to pensionable terms and the contract employment of senior management and lastly to provide for amendments of other laws affected by the Act to create consistencies.

Meanwhile, the amended Public Service Act of 2008 commenced in 2010 with the objective of providing for a single legislation governing employment of all employees of government.

The Act also provided for the establishment of Public Service Bargaining Structures and recognised Public Service trade unions to engage in negotiations and bargaining over issues, which had been identified as matters for negotiation.

When the Act was introduced there were four pieces of legislation governing employment in the Public Service including the Teaching Service Act of which it was reported that the use of the separate laws resulted in inconsistencies in the conditions of service and uncoordinated relationships between Government as an employer and some civil servants.

During its development, it was said to have established a single public service, therefore ensuring consistent terms and conditions of employment for all government employees, since it installed a systematic collective bargaining process.

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