Labour Law Services – Amendments to the Act
We, at Allardyce & Partners, provide a wide range of labour law services to employees, labour unions, employers and employer organisations. The latest amendments to the Labour Relations Act have highlighted the importance of making use of experienced labour law attorneys in helping to understand the impact of changes on the employer and employee relationship. As part our labour law services, we ensure that our clients stay up to date with any changes in legislation that will affect their labour relations.
The Amendment Act was published on August 18, 2014, but the date on which any of the published amendments will come into effect has not yet been declared. We look at a few of the changes to the original Labour Relations Act or LRA and how such will affect employment relationships.
Fixed term contract workers also benefit from the Amendment Act. Previously contract employees had the right to expect renewal of their fixed term contracts on similar or better terms of employment. The Amended Act, however, also gives employees the right to reasonable expectation for permanent employment. However, fixed term contract employees only have the right to equal treatment to permanent employees if they earn under the prevailing threshold of R205 433.30 per annum. Employers under the Amended Act may still use fixed term contracts for employees.
The Amended Act also addresses labour broker services. A labour inspector can enforce compliance with the Amended Act against the labour broker and the employer. The labour broker must see to it that the contracts of employment comply with the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. All labour brokers or temporary employment service providers must be registered according the Employment Services Act. A temporary employment services employee doing work for a client company who doesn’t fall within the category of temporary service will be seen as an employee of the client company and therefore employed indefinitely. Such an employee may not be treated less favourably than the permanent employees at the said client company employer.
The amended regulations will also affect part-time employees who earn below the announced threshold and are remunerated in part or entirely according to the time that the employees work and provided their work hours are less when compared to the work hours of permanent full-time staff. Such part-time workers must be treated in the same way as full time workers with the same level of training access than offered to the full-time workers. Such part-time employees have the same right to workplace job openings.
The CCMA or registered and relevant bargaining councils will have the right to oversee and adjudicate disputes regarding the implementation and interpretation of the amendments. Fixed term, temporary employment services and part-time employees may be treated different to the permanently employed staff regarding seniority and length of service, quality of the work, quantity of the work, and merit.
The amendments are far more comprehensive than outlined above. It is essential to review the amendments in depth and to ensure that your company complies with all the regulations. We furthermore recommend that labour unions and employees study the amendments to ensure that they know their rights.
We offer our expertise in the form of legal advice, representation at the CCMA, establishment of bargaining councils, representation in the labour court and the handling of appeals. Our team consists of labour law attorneys, candidate attorneys and paralegals. We have the manpower, expertise, reputation and resources to assist with regard to any type of labour or employment related disputes. Our professional staff members are registered with the Law Society of KwaZulu-Natal and the Law Society of the Northern Provinces.
With our expertise regarding both sides of the employment relationship, we provide our clients, making use of our labour law services, with a distinct advantage in representation since we understand how the opposing party will argue. Contact us for more information on how the amendments to the Labour Relation Act will affect your employment relationships.
*NB this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You are advised to consult with us before using/relying on this information.