WINDHOEK: The court case between the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the largest labour hire company in Namibia, Africa Personnel Services (APS), has been postponed until 27 September 2012 to allow further consultations by the parties.
At the beginning of this month, APS made an eleventh-hour attempt to stop the implementation of the amended Labour Act that came into operation on 01 August this year.
As a middleman in the labour-hiring process, APS’s involvement is outlawed by the new amendments under Section 128 of the Labour Act.
Government and the Namibia Employers’ Federation (NEF) and its members have been at loggerheads over amendments to the Labour Act.
Last week, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) called on the public to mobilise for a protest against the legal challenge on labour hire brought by NEF and its affected members.
However, NEF stood its ground, and denied any wrongdoing in their input regarding debate on the amendments of the Labour Act, but accused Government of turning a blind eye to the recommendations made by employers.
NEF said Government is totally unjust to now try to place the blame on employers, and Government should have the courage to admit their errors and with tripartite consultation, rewrite this piece of legislation.
The new regulations stipulate that when a company uses a casual worker from a labour hire agency, that worker becomes an employee of the company.
Last month, local media reported that Labour Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko accused NEF of spearheading a campaign intended to frighten employers, and to hold the Namibian nation hostage.
Ngatjizeko said the NEF had asked for the Labour Amendment Act of 2012 to be scrapped, and claimed that the new law was certain to cause unemployment.
NEF also said it would scare off investors, and would cause further social instability in the country.
APS owner Ranga Haikali was quoted as saying in earlier media reports that more than 7 000 casual workers will be left jobless with the implementation of this new law.
He said APS, a member of the NEF, faces liquidation if its bid to stop the implementation fails.