They say that there is nothing more uncommon than common sense. True statement. However, I am encouraged with the hospitality industry’s common sense response to the recent ConCourt decision, relating to the hot topic of the role Temporary employment services (TES) play following a TES employees first 3 months of service with a client.
A month or so ago the Constitutional Court made a long awaited decision on the so called “Deeming provision” in the Labour Relations Act. If by any chance you have been in hiding, here is a link to the ruling CLICK HERE. This amendment to employment law is really not very complicated to understand. But, once again , the sensationalist media have put the selling of newspapers above the truth. I guess a headline proclaiming “extra protection under the LRA for temporary workers” or “ConCourt clarifies amendments to the LRA” ends up on the cutting room floor to be replaced by catchy hyperbole. The consequence of headline grabbing exaggeration exasperated by a modern tendency to rely on sound bites and snippets, is we don’t read the detail. Reading detail takes time, legal terms are not entertaining and it’s easier to believe and settle for a banner that says, for instance, “Death Knell for Labour Brokers” Pretoria news July 2018 and, as a result we miss the truth.
An infamous headline in the New York Daily News in December 2008 said “Sugar more addictive than heroin” and caught a lot of attention. Until, if anyone read further, one would see that the story referred to an experiment on rats and not on humans. People still quote this anecdote 10 years later, perpetuating a complete myth.
Anyhow I digress slightly.
Now the dust has settled and the hospitality industry in general has sought reliable, non emotional, pragmatic legal opinion and guidance, there is a general acceptance that:-
- The new provision does NOT mean the automatic transfer of TES staff to the client after 3 months of service
- There is a triangular relationship between the employee, the client and the TES after 3 months making it possible for the TES to continue employing the staff member.
- It is not necessarily a saving to in-source all staff during these uncertain times.
- That the change is only in terms of one employment law, the LRA. Handling matters of unfair treatment, unfair dismissal etc. So simply continuing to follow the fair and reasonable practices of employment means that there is no extra risk.
- That temporary and flexible employment is vital to the running of a hospitality business.
- That it is vital to preserve the earning power of the TES worker. The TES is the only organisation who can effectively offer employment to individuals with a variety of employers in a monthly work cycle.
Colleagues in the industry tell me that they have come across, so called, HR professionals and self appointed “Labour experts” who are attempting to make a mint by spreading an atmosphere of confusion and fear. Along with Trades Unions who are past masters at sowing division. Tattlers and fibbers punting their own nefarious agenda. With no genuine interest in your business , caring even less for the welfare of your valuable team members.
So, as I say, that rare thing called common sense prevails in the hospitality industry when it comes to this sometimes contentious issue. And, simply put, any decision on employment should make business sense.
Oh and I agree with Trump for once !? “Fake News” is a problem
Stephen is a hospitality professional from Johannesburg South Africa. His career started with THF hotels in the UK and subsequently with the Southern Sun Hotel group in Johannesburg. Hickmore Recruitment / CareerMap, is a leading supplier of Senior and Exec recruitment services for the hospitality industry in Southern Africa. Stephen recently added career change services, headlining as CareerMap, to assist job applicants. Stephen is a founder and business developer of Pple Hospitality (formerly HSC) the largest Hospitality Industry full-service outsourced staffing company in South Africa. In March 2020 Stephen became a director and part-owner of the Swiss Hotel School South Africa. Stephen writes for a number of publications on food and hospitality industry matters, trends and opinions.