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More litigation challenging the country’s labour laws should be expected following Thursday’s landmark ruling that found that the clients of labour brokers are the sole employers of workers, dealing a blow to brokers.
In a majority judgment, the Constitutional Court found in favour of the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), dismissing with costs an appeal application brought by labour broker Assign Services, which had argued that the Labour Relations Act deemed them "dual employers".
Dual employment means the absorbed temporary workers would be in an employment relationship with both the labour brokers and the broker’s clients.
The ruling follows years of disputes between employers and labour unions on the interpretation of section 198A of the act, which was amended in 2014 to force companies to permanently hire contract workers earning less than R2,500 a month, after three months of continuous service.
The intention of the changes was to regulate temporary employment afte...
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