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South Africa – BUSA responds to labour broking pessimism

30 August 2013

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has responded to comments made by employment law expert Jacques Van Wyk, as reported yesterday by Staffing Industry Analysts. In an interview with moneyweb.co.za, Mr Van Wyk predicted that the implementation of the Labour Relations Amendment Bill would spell the end for labour broking, a viewpoint that BUSA strongly refutes.

Commenting to Staffing Industry Analysts, John Botha, lead negotiator for BUSA at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), stated: “It is a major cause for concern when the amendments to the Labour Relations Act (LRA) in respect of Temporary Employment Services (TES – labour brokers) are viewed narrowly by certain commentators. The reality of the fact is that the amendments to the LRA in South Africa are in line with statutory provisions that are already in place in most European Union jurisdictions. In the said jurisdictions the role of reputable TES with the necessary financial and systems integrity has not only increased strategically but also seen significant growth in market share.” 

He added: “In the UK, for example, there is also a 3 month period after which the TES assignee is entitled to certain rights; such as equal pay and heightened protection of labour law. The amendments to the LRA in South Africa mirror this and the role of the TES after the 3 month period is secure in that the LRA provides for a co-employment relationship between the TES and the client in certain respects.”

Mr Botha emphasised further: “There is no restriction on the utilization of TES on fixed-term contracts provided the parties either have a justifiable reason (such as a project or business driven opportunity) or, in the event that there is no clear project, the fixed-term contract will be viewed to have become “indefinite”, which means that the parties would have to afford fair labour practices to the said assignees, such as fair dismissal rights.”

BUSA represents South African businesses on macro-economic and high-level issues that affect in on national and international levels. The organisation was formed in October 2003 through the merger of the Black Business Council and Business South Africa.

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