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March : Temporary Employment Services Here to Stay and Make a Difference

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28 March, 2014

Temporary Employment Services Here to Stay and Make a Difference

Lawrence Diamond CEO The Workforce Group
Lawrence Diamond CEO The Workforce Group

The proposed labour law amendments are key to the sound and sustainable development of the Temporary Employment Services  (TES)  sector and are certainly not a death knell for ethical providers, according to Lawrence Diamond, CEO of The Workforce Group,

"The real challenge", he says, "is not around our sector because we are the engine of job creation, skills development and increased business competitiveness.  It is for companies to partner with a viable TES provider, one that can enable swift adaption to change with new and innovative solutions to labour market challenges. In essence, a valued and crucial partner for businesses and employees."

Diamond explains that the accumulative effect of the LRA amendments is such that they will totally change the structure of the current workplace and how businesses will deal with issues such as flexibility, financial pressures and employment equity. Of all these amendments, the anticipated amendments to the Employment Equity Act are far more radical than those contained in the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

To date, the National Assembly passed the Labour Relations Bill and the Basic Conditions of Employment Bill on 21 August 2013. The bill reduces the period of temporary services from six months to three months, and also does away with the requirement for strike balloting. These bills will now start following the rest of the legislative processes discussed hereunder, whilst the Employment Equity Bill and the Employment Services Bills continue with the processes that will take them through Cabinet.

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Diamond adds "It is important to see the full picture of the changes as you will quickly realise that making one decision without knowing the rest of the changes could be detrimental to business."

In the new landscape, companies will be working in a multi-disciplinary structure which will have to be controlled by intelligent human resources systems, driven by technology.  Specialised industrial relations services are going to be necessary to safeguard companies against the proposed deeming provisions in respect of terminations, union related issues, CCMA disputes, industrial action, etc.

Systems and support are also going to be required for future compliance orders and labour inspections.

Acknowledging that unpredictability, volatility and complexity are the key features of today's labour market he says, "It seems like a calamity , especially when faced with increasing labour costs at a time when all businesses are looking to cut costs and improve efficiencies to remain competitive."

"As a fully-fledged South African temporary employment services company acutely involved in all the challenges and current debates, many of our clients have asked us, "What is the future of TES and temporary employment in South Africa?  My response is that we are key to providing workplace solutions that enable employers to seize opportunities and manage fluctuations effectively.  In line with the new Labour Relations Act amendments, we have developed an array of professional services to deliver solutions ranging from consulting and recruiting to HR services and outsourcing.

"Our experience working with various big businesses in various industries, shows that by strategically combining internal flexibility with the use of TES to address fluctuations in demand, these organisations appeared to be best placed to manage increasing volatility. They were better positioned to react to market opportunities."

Workforce, he assures, has for the past 40 years been at the forefront of the staff outsourcing industry, "We are strongly committed to working hand-in-hand with Government, business and trade unions to fight abuses and illegal practices arising from untrustworthy, unethical and rogue labour brokers. Obviously we all have a common interest in doing so."

An IW Consult study carried out in Germany and covering the 2009-2010 period demonstrates that those organisations using TES recorded revenue growth a full 15 percent higher than those who did not.  The study demonstrates that the ability to react to increasing demand quickly results in higher revenue growth and a better financial performance. 

Diamond advocates that this makes the role of TES crucial as a labour market intermediary, change enabler, social innovator, creator of jobs and facilitator of transitions.

Addressing the workforce perspective, the CEO says the challenge for South African businesses is to marry workplace adaption to change with the need for decent work, as laid out in the International Labour Organisation's Decent Work Agenda.

"Workforce offers a variety of advantages, such as work contracts that combine flexibility with security, as well as the opportunity of acquiring and developing skills and competencies.  Re-skilling and up-skilling lie at the very core of any business and is central to our role in meeting demand and supply in the employment market.

"By providing access to vocational training, we help to fill the talent gap and to develop a skilled workforce. Vocational training is demand-driven with a short-term and practical approach catering especially well to lower skilled workers.  As a result, Workforce workers can make sideward and upward transitions across industries and geographies to benefit their career path," he concludes.

E-mail: labourchanges@workforce.co.za
Website: www.workforcestaffing.co.za
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WFStaffing
Linked in: http://www.linkedin.com/company/workforce-staffing

In summary, businesses can continue to take advantage of the flexibility and many benefits associated with staff outsourcing as well as our extensive legally compliant range of services. We are able to offer this because we are one of the leading TES providers and our representatives are at the forefront of negotiations and initiatives to protect and regulate industry.

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