• Darren Sheer

Whether you are an employee or an employer you need to adhere to the labour laws, here’s why

While it may seem as though the labour laws are only in place to protect the employee, believe it or not, these laws are necessary to protect the employer as well. Labour laws act as the mediator in businesses and Solace Benefits are here to ensure that you know how to use the labour laws to the best of their abilities.

For some, the labour laws of our country may seem too long, too detailed and irrelevant, however, without them, the country would be propelled into the past where servant and master relationships ruled the roost – this would be a great sadness considering how far our country has come in this regard. In the past, businesses were regulated by the ethics of the owner and their bargaining skills. As one could imagine, this had potential to become a disastrous situation where employees were treated badly and had minimal rights to question the situation.

The South African labour laws are extremely detailed so much so that it can cause employers and employees to become confused and uncertain of what the laws actually mean. For this reason, it is vital for both sides to develop a good understanding of what the labour laws are and perhaps arrange a catch-up session every now and then to ensure that everyone is still on the same page. The labour laws are important for multiple reasons. As previously mentioned they are there to keep you, your company and your staff protected from misunderstandings and mistakes; They help the company set a precedent so that similar scenarios have a direction to follow and most importantly, they are there to keep disagreements and disputes civil. Employee and employer rights are crucial and the labour laws act as reinforcement for this point.

In times of conflict, it is so easy to allow anger and emotions to take centre stage, however, this pathway seldom brings a conclusion. When both sides of an argument are red with rage it can result in more harm than anything else, however, having an HR representative who thoroughly understands the labour laws can help defuse the situation by acting as the neutral party.

Labour laws regulate employment relationships, bring fairness into the workplace, help make decisions – to fire or to hire, to promote or to discipline – based on systems and procedural fairness rather than emotions. It is important to be prepared for all types of scenarios and luckily the labour laws act as the method in the recipe for business. Solace Benefits are available to help you understand the labour laws and explain how they are applicable to you and your business. If you are looking for labour law advice or assistance, find out more.

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