Bloomberg Law for HR Professionals is a complete, one-stop resource, continuously updated, providing HR professionals with fast answers to a wide range of domestic and international human resources...
By Edwin Naidu
Dec. 31—Employers will have to adjust the way they have traditionally employed and managed staff under new regulations effective Jan. 1 aimed at streamlining South Africa’s labor law enforcement.
Under the Labour Relations Amendment Act, the use of labor brokers will be limited, fixed-term contracts must be at least three months in duration, part-time workers will enjoy greater legal protections, employers will be prohibited from requiring or accepting any payment by or on behalf of an employee to secure employment or affect the allocation of work and the maximum penalties that may be imposed for a breach of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act not involving underpayment will be increased for the first time since the act came into effect in 1998.
In addition, the government intends to clamp down on the use of child or forced labor, imposing maximum prison sentences for violations of the law doubled from three to six years.
Among other things, the new regulations aim to curb short-term contract work and require employers to justify failure to engage staff on a permanent basis.
According to Aadil Patel, director of employment law at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, employees will enjoy far greater protection under the new system, and “most South African businesses have already adapted the manner in which they will be doing business in anticipation of the proposed amendments.”
Equally important, workers in temporary employment must now be treated on an equal basis with full-time employees performing the same or similar work.
“This is a significant victory for many workers who have been subjected to certain abusive practices as a result of a lack of job security,” said Zizi Kodwa, African National Congress national spokesperson.
The leading voice of business in the country, Business Unity South Africa disagrees, however, arguing that the proposed amendments go far beyond preventing abusive practices and actually interfere with the flexibility of daily business operations and practices.
To contact the reporter on this story: Edwin Naidu in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Vollmar at email@example.com
For more information on South African HR law and regulation, see the South Africa primer.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)