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How do the 2015 LRA amendments impact on widespread practice in relation to TES employees?

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In 2014, the Labour Relations Act 66 of 1995 went through significant changes that were aimed at improving the protection of workers in non-standard employment relationships. It is an undisputed fact that prior to the amendments, section 198 provided little protection regarding this type of employment. One of South Africa’s leading labour federations, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) was amongst the unions that were protesting against the Temporary Employment Service (TES) system, arguing that the system was exploiting workers and that TESs were the main drivers of the casualisation of labour. The TES system promotes low wages and poor conditions of employment. TES is equivalent to the trading of human beings as commodities therefore they must be banned. To address the dissatisfaction, learning from the Namibian experience in particular, the South African legislature opted for the regulation of the TES industry hence the Labour Relations Amendment Act 4 of 2014 where section 198 was amended to also include section 198A to D of the LRAA. This paper seeks to examine the impact of the amendments on the widespread practice in the workplace specifically in relation to the TES employees, bearing in mind the insistence by trade unions that the TES must be done away with. This dissertation demonstrates that the amendments of the LRA and common law to a certain extent provide a solution to several problems the employees of TES have had prior to the amendments. This development has a significant impact on the improvement of working conditions.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.