The controversial Labour Relations Amendment Act was assented to by the President on 17 August 2014.

With the exception of section 198(4F), the amendments will come into effect on a date to be fixed by proclamation.

The Amendment Act places significant restrictions on the use of fixed term contracts and labour brokers, provides for additional organisational rights for minority trade unions and limits participation in pickets.

The Amendment Act has been criticised by business, noting concerns about a loss of flexibility and the failure to enact an effective mechanism to curtail violent strike action.  Some commentators have even suggested that the amendments are subject to constitutional challenge.  A constitutional challenge is now possible seeing that the Act has been signed into law by the President.

The operation of section 198(4F) is suspended until further notice.  Section 198(4F) prohibits any person from performing the functions of a temporary employment service (labour broker) unless it is registered in terms of any applicable legislation.  It is anticipated that when the new Employment Services Bill comes into operation, this section will also come into operation.

Please speak to your Norton Rose Fulbright contact if you require any further information or assistance.