Contract work limited to three months in terms of new labour laws

BY SUPPLIED - FEBRUARY 16, 2015

It will now be illegal in South Africa to hire workers in temporary employment for more than three months without justifiable reasons, Department of Labour Director of Collective Bargaining, Ian Macun told delegates during a labour law amendments roadshow.

"Workers in temporary employment should be treated as permanent unless there is justifiable reason. The implication is that in case of a dispute both the temporary employment service provider and the client can be cited," Macun said. 

Macun was speaking today at Fountains Hotel in Cape Town during the start of joint Department of Labour and CCMA national roadshow to educate stakeholders on amended labour laws.

 The key labour laws in question that were recently reviewed, and were now in force include:  

- The Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Act (BCEA).

-  The Labour Relations Amendment Act. 

- The Employment Equity Amendment Act, and 

- The Employment Services Act (no 4 of 2014) assented and gazetted on 7th April 2014. Promulgation to follow.

The presentations during the national roadshows focused on aspects such as broad changes on the protection of employees earning up to the BCEA threshold of R205 433,30; regulation of temporary employment; unionisation in vulnerable sectors; improving the functioning of labour market institutions such as the CCMA, bargaining and statutory councils; addressing current problems in industrial disputes and dispute resolution; enforcement and enhancing compliance; disputes concerning discrimination and issues of equal pay for work of equal value.

Macun said the amendments were a result of abuse in the labour market. He further said that workers not getting social benefits was becoming a problem. 

According to Macun the changes in the Employment Equity legislation means it will be illegal for employers to discriminate against workers. He said legislation requires of employers to pay equally for work of equal value.  

Department of Labour Deputy Director-General, Sam Morotoba told the stakeholders that the new Employment Services Act would be promulgated in April this year. 

The new Employment Services Act seeks to respond tithe country's mandate of job creation, the registration of job opportunities, regulation of the recruitment of foreign nationals, and the establishment of schemes geared towards job creation.

The roadshows are targeted at employer organisations, trade unions, academics, human resource practitioners and the public at large. 

More roadshows are planned this week beginning tomorrow (17 February) at Protea Hotel Big Hole West Circular Road in Kimberley; (18 February) President Hotel 1 Union Avenue in Bloemfontein; (20 February) Sandton Convention Centre Maude Street in Johannesburg; (23 February) at ICC 45 Bram Fischer Road in Durban.

 The roadshows will end on 06 March 2015 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria, Meiring Naude Road in Pretoria. All roadshows will be held from 9am-13:00.

 

Image courtesy of: www.govpage.co.za