In recent news Numsa made a court ruling on labour broking and has named it the “biggest victory for workers in recent times” according to The Citizen. This ruling states that workers automatically become permanent employees after three months of being in sole employment. Will this ruling really make a difference?
According to Fin24 the court judgment on labour brokers will not stop the “bakkie brigade” which are the people that pick up teams of workers from the side of the road to work for them on projects. These ‘employees’ are paid very little and often are not treated fairly. While we can state that this should be made illegal, it can also not entirely be stopped as these workers do not have other skills and rely on these ‘piece jobs’ to provide for their families.
The ruling states that a person that has been hired by an organization for more than three months must be made an employee with full benefits and pay thereafter. The “bakkie brigade” however will not be affected as people are desperate to work and settle for minimal pay from these independent labour traffickers.
Rotation of workers prevents people from hiring them after three months and is used as a way around the ruling. Despite the loop-hole in this ruling, the ruling may still be seen as an important step in the right direction of ensuring that workers are not exploited.