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The department of home affairs plans to introduce new laws to strengthen its hand in getting its staff to work shifts, a move likely to run into stiff opposition from labour unions. The department has previously clashed with unions over its attempts to get staff to work on Saturdays. It hopes to get around the issue by introducing measures in a new Home Affairs Act that will enable it to employ staff outside the confines of the Public Service Act, acting director-general Thulani Mavuso said on Sunday. “We want our offices to open seven days a week, so we need to be able to create a shift system that is in line with our legislation. We want our immigration officers to be employed as shift employees so they can operate 27/7 ,” he said in a telephone interview. The department also wants to be able to pay market-related rates for highly specialised skills, particularly in information technology, said Mavuso. The Public Service Act sets limits on the pay packet of every level of employee...

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