Streaming issues? Report here
John Maytham 2019 1500 BW John Maytham 2019 1500 BW
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
15:00 - 18:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield
See full line-up
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
15:00 - 18:00
Home
arrow_forward
Local

Contract nurses facing exploitation while agencies get rich, says union Denosa

17 January 2021 1:00 PM
Tags:
DENOSA
Covid-19 response
Nursing staff
Contract nurses
nurses union
temporary nurses

Nurses union Denosa says many nurses contracted for the Covid-19 response are being unfairly treated in terms of labour laws.

Nurses are being appointed in the province to augment the hospital workforce as part of the response to the Covid-19 second wave.

However, some nurses are being employed on job contracts exceeding three months without benefits or permanent employment.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) says that is unlawful labour practice.

RELATED: 600 nurses recruited in the WC to shore up Covid-19 frontline

Amendments to Section 198 of the Labour Relations Act state that an employee engaged by a temporary employment service for the purposes of rendering services to another client is deemed to be an employee of that client, and the client is deemed to be the employer of such employee, after three months.

Denosa's provincial secretary in the Western Cape Thokozile Tyilekile explains that this law is not being complied with.

Despite extended lengthy job contracts, she says nurses are not being absorbed as permanent employees.

RELATED: 'We can't cope anymore' - volunteers asked to 'adopt' Covid-19 frontline workers

Temporary or contract nurses are hired by hospitals through nursing agencies (otherwise known as labour brokers) that are well paid while nurses remain unprotected.

Tyilekile likens the practice to human trafficking and says something must be done to address the exploitation of contract nurses who face tough working conditions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

These people who employed by the temporary employment services, which are the agencies, do not have any benefits.

Thokozile Tyilekile, Western Cape Provincial Secretary - Denosa

In terms of the Labour Relations Act, it is clear that... After three months, these people that are employed by the agency should be absorbed into the system of the company to be permanent. However, you find that there is no compliance in this legislation.

Thokozile Tyilekile, Western Cape Provincial Secretary - Denosa

This has been our cry to the companies to employ and comply to this legislation... It's breaking the law to employ a person on a temporary basis for more then three months without absorbing them to the system.

Thokozile Tyilekile, Western Cape Provincial Secretary - Denosa

As labour, we are of the view that this issue of using these agencies is not correct... it's more like human trafficking.

Thokozile Tyilekile, Western Cape Provincial Secretary - Denosa

Meanwhile, the Department of Health says it's against the exploitation of nursing staff.

The department's deputy chief nursing officer Veronica Taschl says officials are in the process of formulating legislation regulating how nursing agencies operate.

Labour laws are the ones that protect our nurses. We want our nurses to have full-time employment so that they can get the benefits and not be exploited and also because it will improve the quality of their work-life and improve the quality of care.

Veronica Taschl, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer - Department of Health

We definitely are not for the exploitation of nurses. The labour laws are in place. The only other thing that should be in place are laws that govern what nursing agencies do, and we are currently working on those regulations right now.

Veronica Taschl, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer - Department of Health

Listen to the discussion on Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King:




17 January 2021 1:00 PM
Tags:
DENOSA
Covid-19 response
Nursing staff
Contract nurses
nurses union
temporary nurses

More from Local

Can you legally use a camera to spy on your domestic worker?

12 May 2021 4:56 PM

What are the legal implications of installing cameras in your home to monitor those who work for you? Pippa Hudson finds out.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Vaccine influencer? Activist Lebo Mashile slammed after getting Sisonke J&J jab

12 May 2021 3:39 PM

Actress and poet Lebo Mashile has been facing backlash on social media after she got vaccinated and tweeted about her experience.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

A war of words: DJ Black Coffee and ex Enhle Mbali have it out on social media

12 May 2021 2:59 PM

The estranged couple, who share two children, have taken to social media to give their respective sides of the story.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

'We will shut them down' - Undertakers threaten to close Home Affairs offices

12 May 2021 2:23 PM

Funeral undertakers have threatened to intensify their protest action by bringing Home Affairs offices to a standstill across SA.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

'I forgave them, but I still need justice' - Andrew Merryweather on 2006 attack

12 May 2021 1:25 PM

In 2006, Andrew Merryweather was left paralysed following a brutal attack at a petrol station in Cape Town. 15 years later, he's still seeking justice.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Private Investigator describes search for murdered mom of three Yolandi Botes

12 May 2021 1:06 PM

PI Wendy Pascoe explains there are many reasons people go missing, though the Yolandi Botes case involved criminal elements.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

We are investigating almost half of what government spent - SIU

12 May 2021 12:40 PM

"It is very worrying," says Special Investigations Unit spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Nurses 'not appreciated' in South Africa says former RN

12 May 2021 12:27 PM

Dalreece Rankin-Andreas is a registered nurse who left South Africa with her husband last year to pursue opportunities in Qatar.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

[PICS] CT neurosurgeon who separated rare conjoined twins opens up about surgery

12 May 2021 11:19 AM

Pediatric neurosurgeon Prof Tony Figaji says it was extremely rewarding to have helped successfully separate the conjoined twin girls earlier this year.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Saps protects its own, even when it's own are killers, claims new investigation

12 May 2021 11:14 AM

The Viewfinder investigation has revealed killings and brutality are enabled by police management’s reluctance to discipline cops.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward