Exploring the effects of restructuring on staff of the South African labour inspectorate
Ruiters, Millysind Ebygale
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The Department of Labour (DoL) is responsible for regulating the Labour market and plays a significant role in reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality through a set of policies, legislation and programmes developed in consultation with social partners. Compliance with these policies and legislation are enforced by the inspectors of the DoL, which during 1999 identified inspections service as one of the areas of be restructured. This restructuring initiative aimed at providing an integrated inspection service whereby one inspector visited one company to inspect compliance and to perform a range of functions covering several pieces of labour legislation, regardless of field of his or her specialty or expertise. After the restructuring, the DoL experienced a high turnover of inspectors and most of the skilled and specialist inspectors left the service, leaving behind inspectors with irrelevant or no tertiary qualifications. This in turn caused a decline in the performance of the inspectorate and thus in compliance with labour legislation because of a lack of enforcement. Between 1999 and 2010 a series of changes and restructuring initiatives were attempted to ensure improved compliance and to retain inspectors with the necessary qualification and expertise. Because of the challenges faced by the inspectorate this research was conducted, to investigating whether a change management model was used to identify the needed. It also sought to determine if the work–related outcomes of Productivity, Job Satisfaction and Intention to Quit, were influenced by the change and how change initiatives over the past years had affected the feelings, behaviour and performance of the inspectors. A mixed qualitative and quantitative research approach was followed in this study, with data collected from employees using a closed–ended questionnaire and five–point Likert scale. The official company documents were also used for existing information relevant to the study. Exploratory statistics was used to interpret the results, which indicated the existence of significant patterns of variables being studied in the sample. The study results indicate that two factors or constructs could be extracted from the questions that measure the 10 principles of change management, labelled as the Purpose of change and the Implementation of integration. The majority of the respondents indicated that the purpose of the integration process was not properly identified and that the implementation process of the integration initiative not properly followed. The research also indicated that the purpose and the implementation of the change initiatives were predictors for Job satisfaction, and the purpose and implementation of a change initiative were clearly defined and executed, then employees would be more satisfied with their jobs. Research also indicated that implementation of change initiatives is a significant predictor of intention to quit, thus if followed correctly the employees would not want to quit. The research also indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between gender and the variables of purpose, Implementations, Productivity, Job Satisfaction or Intention to Quit. However, there where statistically significant differences between the experiences of these variables and the age, province and qualifications of the respondents. A number of recommendations are made to assist in resolving the problems to improve the effectiveness of the planned future restructuring process, work outcome, productivity, job satisfaction, and intention to quit.
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