Mdladlana plans to amend the law to regulate controversial labour brokers

LABOUR Minister Memba-thisi Mdladlana is planning to change the country's labour laws to regulate the controversial labour brokers.

Though Mdladlana he had promised to ban labour brokers outright if the ANC won the April elections, he has instead proposed that Nedlac give him the right to ban brokers in "specific sectors" only.

He says brokers are violating the Constitution by paying workers on their books lower salaries than those earned by workers doing the same job directly in companies.

He proposes to amend the Employment Equity Act to outlaw "discrimination between employees placed by a labour broker and direct employees" and an end to labour broker workers getting the worse conditions of employment.

In a letter sent to Nedlac executive director Herbert Mkhize, Mdladlana asks Mkhize to set up talks between government, business and labour on amendments to the Labour Relations and Basic Conditions of Employment Acts.

"It is my intention to take draft legislation to Cabinet and Parliament as soon as possible," Mdladlana wrote.

Researcher Kimani Ndungu welcomed the proposal.

"The requirement that both the client and labour broker be held jointly liable for workers' rights is a huge improvement. One of the biggest problems facing workers employed by labour brokers is that they cannot cite the client in unfair dismissal cases," he said.