ConCourt supports workers employed through labour brokers

Temporary workers employed through labour brokers are permanent employees of the main employer after three months, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) ruled on Thursday. The ConCourt handed down judgment in an application for leave to appeal against an order of the Labour Appeal Court (LAC).

The case concerned the interpretation of section 198A(3)(b) of the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 (LRA) and whether this deeming provision resulted in a “sole employment” relationship between a placed worker and a client or a “dual employment” relationship between a Temporary Employment Service (TES), a placed worker and a client.

The LAC set aside the order of the Labour Court and held that a placed worker who has worked for a period in excess of three months is no longer performing a temporary service and the client, as opposed to the TES, becomes the sole employer of the worker by virtue of section 198A(3)(b) of the LRA.

According to the recent amendments to the Labour Relations Act (LRA), clients of labour brokers have to hire contractors who earn below R205 433 annually after three months.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola said the judgment would change the lives of the country’s most lowest paid workers who were exploited due to lack of clarity about their rightful employers. “This is a victory not just for NUMSA but also for the working class majority,” Hlubi-Majola said. – SAnews.gov.za

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