The Constitutional Court (CC) today hears the Appeal in the Assign Services matter. The Labour Appeal Court (LAC) threw the cat amongst the pigeons in July last year when it favoured the “sole employer” interpretation of the deeming provision in s198A of the Labour Relations Act.
The LAC found that employees supplied through a Temporary Employment Service (TES) to a client of the TES, who earn under the earnings threshold and work for longer than 3 months, are fully integrated into the enterprise of the client as employees of the client. Somewhat controversially the LAC found that the TES was the employer only in theory and an unwarranted ‘’middle man’’ adding no value to the employment relationship.
The LAC judgment has caused much consternation and uncertainty within TES operations and amongst clients using the services of a TES. The keenly anticipated CC judgment should bring certainty to the identity of the true employer and allow companies making use of TES employees to properly optimise their staffing needs, within the parameters of the LRA.