The new labour law amendments could place employers in a compromising position and business owners need to prepare for these changes.
The ongoing legislative review process and subsequent adjustments aim to make labour law more relevant and responsive to the current business environment.
According to labour law specialist Ivan Israelstam the business environment has been impacted by various social and economic trends, particularly in the area of labour broking.
'Trade unions want stronger powers over employers', says Israelstam. He adds that employers have been reportedly mistreating labour broker employees.
Labour broking is a common practice in South Africa in which companies contract labour brokers to provide them with casual labour. This practice appeals to many organisations as the responsibility to comply with labour law falls on these external employment entities.
Labour brokers are generally used to recruit lower level employees such as farm, mine and domestic workers. However the rights of these employees are being compromised and new labour law amendments aim to protect these vulnerable workers.
Labour laws have also been adjusted to prevent 'nepotism and cronyism in employment appointments' and to improve 'ineffective processes for remedying labour law complaints'. Israelstam says that under the new system it will be more difficult to employ friends and family. This is good news for those who want to comply with the law and bad news for corrupt employers or managers.
Israelstam notes that the amendments are primarily designed to protect and benefit employees. “It will be much more difficult and costly to employ temporary employees”. He warns that employers will need to tighten up employment processes like hiring and terminating staff.
In the seminar titled the “Latest Changes and Dangers in Labour law” Israelstam provides a break down of the labour law amendments and how they will impact employment policy and practice. Employers will find out how to align themselves to the latest amendments to ensure compliance.
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