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Numsa believes end to labour brokering is near following ConCourt ruling

The apex court ruled that a company that’s employed a worker from a labour broker will become that workers employer after a three-month period.

FILE: Supporters of Numsa. Picture: @Radio702/Twitter.

PRETORIA - National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) believes Thursday’s Constitutional Court ruling dealing with the Labour Relations Act could put an end to labour brokering.

The apex court ruled that a company that’s employed a worker from a labour broker will become that workers employer after a three-month period.

In the past, the worker held a dual employment relationship with the brokerage and the company where he or she had been placed.

The Constitutional Court ruling means that a worker placed by a labour broker at a company becomes that firm’s employee with no contractual tie to the labour broker after three months.

Numsa’s Phakamile Hlubi-Majola says this ruling hugely significant.

“It has a major impact on how these companies have been operating, they have been operating way beyond the three months which has been decided by the court. That in its self, after the court’s decision, is going to make it very hard to continue operating.”

Hlubi-Majola adds that: “They have defined the relationship of the employee and labour broking companies as a temporary one, as a relationship that cannot exceed or three months.”

She says this ruling will advance the protection of workers’ rights.

“We no longer want to see a situation where labour brokers come and companies abuse these relationships way beyond the three months which have been allocated in the labour laws.”

The union says it will continue its fight to completely ban labour brokers.

GROUNDBREAKING RULING

South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) says it's celebrating a historic, groundbreaking judgment handed down against labour brokers in the Constitutional Court on Thursday.

Saftu believes the court has dealt a deadly blow to the labour brokering industry and signals one of the biggest victories for workers in recent times.

The federation says employers have used labour brokers in order to avoid having to comply with laws which protect the rights of workers.

It says this resulted in a form of human trafficking where workers are hired out with no job security, lower wages and worse conditions.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)