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Don't let your labour brokers' mistakes be the reason you land up at the CCMA. Protect yourself with these three tips

by , 23 February 2015
One of the key changes to the recently amended Labour Relations Act (LRA) relates to temporary employees.

The days when temporary employees weren't your responsibility are gone.

From now on, if your labour broker mistreats your temporary employees, you're liable too.

This means, for example, you could find yourself at the CCMA if a temporary employee believes the labour broker unfairly discriminated against him. If the employee wins, you too may have to pay compensation.

To protect yourself from this kind of liability when it comes to temporary workers, we recommend you use these three tips...


Are your temporary workers from labour brokers? Use these three tips to protect yourself from liability and CCMA cases

 
Tip #1: Only deal with reputable labour brokers
 
Make sure you only deal with a reputable company that's properly registered, says Natalie Singer, the strategic engagement executive at the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (APSO).
 
The company must be in good standing with SARS, the Department of Labour and any applicable bargaining council, says Singer.
 
So do your research on the labour broker and ask for registration details and proof of good standing.
 
If you're dealing with a labour broker who doesn't have proof of good standing, for example, there's a big chance he'll cause problems for you in future.

 
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The LRA amendment came into effect on 1 January 2015. Do you know what the key changes are?
 
You might be aware the Labour Relations Act amendment came into effect, but the real question is do you know how these changes affect you and your company?
 
That's why we have the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service which provides you with updates every time a new labour law comes into effect. We keep you updated so you can comply and avoid penalties that could cripple your business!
 
Get your copy here
 
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Tip #2: Make sure your labour broker belongs to a professional body
 
It's a good idea to get a labour broker who's a member of a professional body. A professional body ensures the broker always acts in line with the law and in an ethical manner. It holds him accountable for his actions.
 
Basically, if your labour broker belongs to a professional body, you'll always have recourse. If, for example, you aren't happy with how he treats his workers, complain to the professional body before things get out of hand.
 
Tip #3: Ensure the labour broker you choose has legally compliant policies
 
According to Singer, the labour broker you deal with must have a sound human resources and industrial relations policies and operating procedures.
 
This way, 'you get into the contract with a clear understanding of the roles, duties, rights and obligations of both parties,' says Singer.
 
You can't afford to be oblivious to how a labour broker operates if you get temporary workers from him. Make sure he adheres to labour laws (e.g. pays workers the correct wage and on time) now that the law holds you responsible. And be sure to use these three tips to protect yourself from liability and CCMA cases.
 
PS: Liabilty when it comes to temporary employees isn't the only amendment in the LRA. The other changes include:
 
  • A dismissal is now automatically unfair if you don't comply with the amended definition;
 
  • Fixed-term employees will now be deemed permanent employees after three months;
 
  • Employees from labour brokers will now be deemed permanent employees after three months;
 
  • Unions can now turn to the CCMA to override your decision on employee benefits; and
 
  • There are new changes to striking and picketing rules.
 

To find out more about these changes and how to implement them, take a look at the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.



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