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Labour broking to be regulated
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 00:00
Written by Nicola Mawson
Proposed changes to SA’s labour laws and regulations, which are making their way through Parliament, will not ban labour brokers if enacted, but will regulate the sector more stringently.
The proposed Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill aim to revise fixed-term labour regulation and introduce the principle of equal pay for equal work, after six months of employment. Concerns have been raised that this will push up the cost of hiring staff, leading to job losses.
News emerged recently that the amendments contained in the Labour Relations Amendment Bill regulate labour brokers, but do not propose an outright ban. The Bills were approved by Cabinet for submission to Parliament during its 20 March meeting. It is not clear when the process will be complete, as public hearings still need to be held.
Labour spokesman Musa Zondi confirms that, if the Labour Relations Amendment Bill is enacted in its current form, brokers will not be banned, but regulated. However, he says the public hearing process may change the picture.
Labour minister Mildred Nelisiwe Oliphant, speaking at the inaugural Jobs Summit and Jobs Fair, in KwaZulu-Natal, said government had set various processes in motion to achieve its target of decent work practices.
Oliphant said this included amending critical areas of legislation like the Labour Relations and Basic Conditions of Employment. “These two Bills are now before Parliament.
“The Bills are aimed at promoting sound and responsive legislation and policies to attain labour market flexibility for competitiveness of enterprises, which is balanced with the promotion of decent employment.”
The latest version of the Bill defines temporary employment service as “any person who, for reward, procures for or provides to a client other persons – who render services to, or perform work for the client” and who are paid by the temporary employment service.
It notes that temporary services means work for a client by an employee that does not exceed six months, or is a substitute for a staff member who is temporarily absent; or in a category of work and for any period of time which is determined to be temporary services by a collective agreement.
In addition, if both the client and the service are liable under the Bill, the staff member can institute labour proceedings against either, it adds.
A temporary employment service must provide an employee it assigns to a client with written particulars of employment that comply with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, states the Bill. An employee may not be employed by a temporary employment service on terms and conditions of employment, which are not permitted by the Bill, or any employment law, sectorial determination or collective bargaining agreement, it says.
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