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Labour Law Amendment Implementation

09 December 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: APSO
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NOTICE REGARDING PROGRESS ON LABOUR LAW AMENDMENTS, ESPECIALLY THE EFFECT ON PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES AND TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

It has come to APSO’s attention that certain inaccurate information is currently in circulation to say that the amendments to the labour laws, in particular those affecting temporary employment services (TES), will be in effect from 1 January 2014. APSO would like to confirm that this is not true.To assist members, and your clients, please find herewith an update on the current state of affairs and the expected implications of the changes on those offering (and using) flexible labour via TES.

LABOUR LAW REVIEW PROCESS

Members will be aware that three existing Acts are under amendment, namely Basic Conditions of Employment, Labour Relations and Employment Equity, and a fourth, the Employment Services Bill, is in the final stages of promulgation.

The full process has been completed in respect of public hearings, presentation to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee and National Council of Provinces (NCOP), however due to some changes proposed by the NCOP two of the bills will need to be re-submitted to the National Assembly for ratification before onward distribution to the State President for signature and promulgation.

These changes will impact all employers, not only those who are, or make use of, TES. Several provisions relating to the management of atypical employees, including concepts such as equal pay for work of equal value, will have an impact on workplaces.

APSO will continue to provide members, who in turn can inform clients, with guidance on how best to manage these changes and how to leverage flexibility in order to maintain global (and local) competitiveness. 

EXPECTED IMPLEMENTATION DATE

As the National Assembly has already gone on recess for 2013 and will only resume at the end of January, it is unlikely that this final step will be concluded before February 2014. It is our educated estimation that the four bills will be managed together and signed into law by the President as a "package” in March, just ahead of the national elections.As a result, the status quo remains until a formal proclamation by the President. This will not happen before end January 2014.

APSO will continue to update members but members should also note that this will be publicly announced and carried on all major news stations given the importance thereof. As a result, we caution members and their clients from taking advice from "consultants” who have not be directly involved in the process and who may therefore be misinformed.    

IMPACT ON PRIVATE EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES (PEA)

The Employment Services Bill will make it mandatory for all companies operating as Private Employment Agencies (PEA) or Temporary Employment Services (TES) to register with the Department of Labour or their nominated regulatory authority. The specifics in respect of licensing requirements will only be published, as part of the regulations, once the Bill has been signed into law by the President.

APSO continues to work with Department of Labour to influence and manage this process and will keep members informed on how to ensure compliance going forward. In the interim, members are required to maintain their compliance standards and are encouraged to liaise with APSO in regards to any questions or assistance in this regard. 

IMPACT ON TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT SERVICES (TES)

Members are reminded that the bills in no way stops TES (otherwise referred to colloquially as labour brokers) from operating nor from providing flexible labour solutions to their customers, including beyond the stipulated 3-month period from which time additional joint and several liability extends to protect vulnerable workers. 

After three months on the client site, temporary employees who earn below the stipulated BCEA threshold, currently R193 805, receive additional protection under the Labour Relations Act in terms of joint and several liability between the client (end-user) and the TES.

In a nutshell this means that should the temp be unfairly dismissed, they would have the right to take the TES, the client, or both, to the CCMA. Joint and several liability has always been applicable (for temp employees) in regards to the BCEA and the payment of minimum wages and employment benefits in line with collective agreements, sectoral determinations and basic conditions. 

APSO GUIDANCE

APSO has prepared a range of tools to assist members in terms of compliance as well as a variety of publications designed to educate and guide members and their clients and we urge you to make use of these resources. They are accessible on the APSO website under the Toolbox, Lobbying & Advocacy menu rail or by contacting us at Head Office.


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