Employment Tax Incentive Bill welcomed

Tax Bill

Government has welcomed the adoption of the Employment Tax Incentive Bill, which is aimed at reversing the high levels of youth unemployment.

The bill proposes a youth wage subsidy aimed at encouraging employers, through tax incentives, to create job opportunities for young people aged from 18 to 29 years.

Acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO, Phumla Williams, said: “Government is confident that thorough consultation processes were undertaken, and concerns that were raised have been responded to.

“The Bill makes clear provisions to correct potential abuse by employers and has no impact on current labour relations or legislation, and will by no means weaken the rights of the workers.”

The tax incentive is one of many programmes that will fall under the umbrella of government’s youth employment strategy, including the National Youth Accord.

It can stimulate on-the-job training and the development of soft skills through work experience.  It also forms part of a broader package of initiatives aimed at addressing youth unemployment.

Government will ensure that the implementation of the Bill will not lead to a potential hiring bias towards younger people, where older employees could easily be replaced. South Africa’s labour laws cater for the protection of employees regardless of age.

Government, in particular the National Treasury and SARS, will closely monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Bill to ensure that there is no abuse of the incentive.

“The implementation of the Bill will expose the youth to obtain workplace skills that will position them for better job opportunities. The final leg to the implementation of the Bill will be a sign-off into law by President Jacob Zuma,” said Williams. –