This is your guide to the use of temporary or fixed-term contracts of employment, casuals and persons provided by labour brokers to regulate the relationship between employer and employee in order to maximise flexible working arrangements is not unique to South-Africa. With the increased reliance by management on non-standard forms of employment, the workforce of the future consists of two distinct categories of employees, all of whom will fall under the ambit and protection of the LRA, the BCEA and/or the Main Agreement. At one level, there will be a core group of employees, employed for an indefinite period of time on a traditional and full-time basis fully integrated into the company. At the next level will be persons employed on a casual or temporary basis or via a labour broker who enjoy the protection of our labour system, but are not fully integrated into the organisation.
Non-standard or temporary forms of employment, when utilised correctly as a means of cost-effective manning in an attempt to keep wages and the costs of doing business in line with increasingly competitive markets, is an entirely acceptable and beneficial arrangement for both parties. From a management point of view, the importance of observing the provisions relating to different employment relationships correctly cannot be overstressed. It is strongly recommended that all contracts of employment – be they permanent, temporary, casual or on the basis of persons provided by labour brokers – must be in writing, setting out the terms and conditions of employment, no matter how short the employment period may be. There is far more certainly when the contract has been recorded in writing, is compliant with relevant laws, rules and regulations and has been entered into knowingly and willingly by the parties.