If you thought you had fewer legal obligations when it comes to temporary or fixed-term employees, think again. In fact, if government has its way through the proposed amendments to the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, you'll be forced to treat temporary, fixed-contract and part-time workers on an equal basis after three months. And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
If you hire temporary workers or fixed-term contractors to help you with big, temporary jobs you need finished, government is on to you.
In a move to ban labour brokers and the exploitation of temporary workers, 'the Department of Labour's chief director, Thembinkosi Mkalipi, explained that the labour broker would be deemed to be the employer for the first three months of employment, but thereafter both the broker and the company would be deemed to be the employers, in the event of a dispute,' BDlive
Getting rid of labour brokers will have consequences on your company's ability to outsource and prune your workforce to avoid the additional costs. You'll no longer have the flexibility to take on and release workers according to your requirements.
The bill could essentially change the whole structure of your business, from operational costs to employment contracts. It's crucial that you watch it closely.
Although the amendments haven't been passed into law, the move has drawn widespread criticism from labour experts.
Proposed ban on labour brokers widely criticised
According to BDlive
, Adcorp's CE Richard Pike, the committee's decisions were disastrous for job creation, and particularly ill-advised in South Africa's perilous economic situation.
'I think it is going to hurt employment on a mammoth scale,' Pike said. According to BDlive
, he cited the example of the retail industry where 40% of staff were contract workers because of the fluctuating nature of the business.
In addition, according to the experts the move to also adopt a clause that would have required trade unions to conduct strike ballots would prompt the continuation of the violence and intimidation that have marred industrial relations for many years.
It's in your best interest to keep your eye on what government decides as it'll impact your business.
The actual vote on the bill is expected to take place next week. And 'if the three month regulation was agreed, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant would specify to which industries it applied,' says iAfrica.com