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Though last week’s monumental Constitutional Court ruling on the regulation of labour brokers was a victory for low-paid workers, the triumph will be short-lived. The judiciary on Thursday provided direction on the interpretation of an amended section of the Labour Relations Act that says an employee who earns less than the threshold of just more than R205,000 a year and is contracted through labour brokers to a client for more than three months, is deemed employed by the client. Labour brokers insisted the provision meant they would act as employers along with their clients, meaning the workers would serve two employers. After putting up a formidable struggle that started at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in 2015 and ended at the apex court, the National Union of Metalworkers of SA’s (Numsa’s) interpretation that only the clients of labour brokers were considered as employers won the day. However, all these feats meant nothing in the face of the c...

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