In July, the Constitutional Court ruled that contract workers provided by labour brokers will be regarded as employees of the client after three or more months at their company. These employees, which include all workers who earn less than R205 433 per annum, will be entitled to the same benefits, prospects of internal growth and job security as permanent employees.
While the ruling aims to prevent the exploitation of workers by labour brokers, Arnoux Maré, MD of Innovative Staffing Solutions (ISS), says that millions of workers could lose their jobs when their contracts run out.
He advises companies to consider outsourcing rather than retrenching employees if permanent contracts are not an option. All ISS staff are permanently employed and enjoy the associated benefits, with no additional responsibilities for the client.
Maré notes: “We employ more than 10 000 permanent staff in a variety of sectors. Should a contract be terminated, the employee is simply redeployed.
“With this approach, we are creating sustainable employment, which ensures workplace stability and continued security for workers and their families. It is the outsourcing company’s role to source the relevant skills and contractually employ the person on a permanent basis. These companies are also responsible for developing and retaining key technical skills and keeping abreast of industry trends,” he continues.
Maré adds that ISS is invested in training and has one of the best training programmes for drivers. Some drivers have been at the company for seven years, indicating a low turnover.
He concludes: “We welcome the Constitutional Court ruling as it has effectively changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers for the better. The ground-breaking judgement has essentially freed low-paid workers, who are often exploited by labour brokers, and will give them much needed security.
“In the past, the majority of these workers could not apply for a loan or a house bond due to their temporary employment status. The status quo has now changed in their favour.”