No overnight ban on labour brokers – minister

2011-09-06 10:53

It was not possible to heed union demands to ban labour brokers overnight, labour minister Mildred Oliphant said today.

“We must first amend the Labour Relations Act and phase it out and then we can be free of labour brokers,” she told a Food and Allied Workers’ congress in Johannesburg.

The main problem with labour brokers was that the work agreement was between the labour broker and the employer, instead of between the employer and the employee.

Salaries were then paid to the labour brokers. “That is why they [employees] earn peanuts,” she said.

Oliphant explained that the Labour Relations Act did allow for private employment agencies to be established in the country, so the terms of this had to be amended. She hoped a cluster of amendments to four labour-related pieces of legislation would be completed by November.

One of the delegates told Oliphant: “We hate labour brokers with a passion.” He said labour brokers had not created employment as was often stated, adding: “They just recycle existing jobs.”

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