Liability in unfair dismissals is hot topic at 21st LexisNexis Current Labour Law Seminars, hosted by LexisNexis South Africa, will be held nationwide from November 15 to 19. The seminars examine key labour law developments over the last year.
One of the hot topics this year is who takes the responsibility when employees of labour brokers are unfairly dismissed – the labour broker who sourced and placed the person, or the client of the labour broker?
Peter Le Roux, UNISA Honorary Professor and key speaker at this year’s LexisNexis Current Labour Law Seminars, explains that although labour brokers are strictly seen as the employer of the persons whom they place with a client of the labour broker, these employees provide their services to the client on a full time basis and are often fully incorporated into the organisational structures and practices of the client of the labour broker. The result is that they often appear to be the employees of the client. Until recently the courts have generally upheld this strict legal view and, in the case of unfair dismissals, held the labour broker liable. However, this approach has been questioned in recent court decisions because the client’s decisions impact directly on the employee.
“In two recent decisions, the Labour Court and an arbitrator have attempted to find ways of ensuring that the client acts fairly towards the employees of labour brokers. In one decision the arbitrator found that the client was in fact the employer and reinstated the employee into the employment of this client.
“In another the court found that an agreement in terms of which a client was entitled to require the labour broker to remove an employee placed with the client from its premises and to supply another employee without good reason was contrary to public policy and invalid. If this trend continues, this could have far-reaching implications for clients of labour brokers in that they will be held accountable and will have to ensure that the employees of labour brokers are treated fairly,” explains Le Roux.
Other major topics that have dominated the labour law landscape this year will also be reviewed at the LexisNexis Current Labour Law Seminars. These include the rights of illegal workers, public and private sector strikes and decisions dealing with affirmative action. Other speakers who will tackle these and other issues at this year’s conference are Advocate Alec Freund SC and Clive Thompson, adjunct professor at the Institute of Development and Labour Law at the University of Cape Town.
The Current Labour Law Seminars, hosted by LexisNexis, a leading global provider of content-enabled workflow solutions, will offer the ideal opportunity to participate in the discussion on the year’s key developments and ascertain what the critical legal and labour issues will be for 2011. The LexisNexis Current Labour Law Seminars are an authoritative year-end review of labour law developments that will appeal to and affect HR managers, labour practitioners, lawyers and business leaders. The seminar programme will kick off in Cape Town and end with two sessions in Johannesburg.
The dates are as follows:
- 15 November – Cape Town, Vineyard Hotel
- 16 November – Port Elizabeth, NMMU Conference Centre
- 17 November – Durban, Elangeni Hotel
- 18 November – Johannesburg, Southern Sun Grayston Hotel
- 19 November – Johannesburg, Gallagher Convention Centre.
For more information on the 21st Current Labour Law Seminars or to make a booking, visit www.lexisnexis.co.za or contact 031 268 3111.