In a ruling that is said to give workers more security, the Constitutional Court declared that a labour broker ( a person or company that provides labourers to companies on a temporary basis) has no contractual obligation with the employee after a set period of time.
This comes after the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) approached the court to seek clarity of who exactly a worker’s employer is if the employee was placed at a company through a labour broker. In short, the Constitutional Court ruled that a worker placed by a labour broker at a company becomes that company’s employee after three months.
While labour brokers argued that an employee should hold dual employment, many workers spoke out about the exploitation that dominates this kind of arrangement.
Speaking to EWN, Lemias Mashile, Chairperson of Parliament’s Labour Portfolio Committee said: “This actually shows that all our employees, or labourers in the country, have got some sort of certainty on who is employing them and paying their salaries. Unlike the current situation where you’ve got a labour broker in between whereas the labour broker isn’t necessarily paying your wages.”
Thus, the ruling has been celebrated as a victory for fair labour practices in South Africa.