Gauteng Business News

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: Third Option for Labour Brokers


Recent Gauteng Business News

The banning of labour broking in South Africa has become a very big issue recently. Especially after COSATU and the ANC called for complete bans of labour brokers. Opposition parties such as the DA and COPE arejust asking for labour brokers to be regulated better. According to the trade union Solidarity , there is a third option, by banning the more controversial practices of labour brokers and instituting revised regulations around broking.

According to Johan Kruger, head of the Solidarity Research Institute, the trade union has already submitted a proposal regarding such a balanced approach to the parliamentary portfolio committee. Among other things, there is a proposal for the amendment of labour legislation to ban exploitation by labour brokers. Part of the proposal is also a request to better define temporary work relationships, as well as increased responsiblities of the bargaining councils. This would allow all people placed by labour brokers a chance to be part of a bragaining council. They want either the old bargaining councils to be given a more expanded role or to create a completely new bargaining council altogether.

Part of the request includes asking for extended notice for employees placed by labour brokers when they lose their jobs, of up to four weeks if they have been employed for at leat six months. There is also mention of a pension fund and severance packages to be paid by companies that use labour brokers to hire employees. Solidarity want the Department of Labour to play a bigger role with labour brokers to help amke sure that they act in accordance with the laws. They also want a minimum wage structure to be investigated.

The current attempts by employers to distance themselves from employees by firing them, only to re-hire them through labour brokers, thereby removing all responsibilities of the employer to their employees, is seen as unacceptable and amendments to the Labour Relations Act have been proposed.

Kruger had this to say on the fate of labour brokers, “We have made it clear that the total banning of labour broking in South Africa is not a feasible or responsible option given the present circumstances. It is our considered view that the regulation of the labour brokering industry in South Africa – in conjunction with the banning of practices which lead to exploitation – by means of legislation is a far more responsible and realistic way of dealing with the question at hand,” Kruger said.

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