Streaming issues? Report here
Kieno Kammies 2019 1500 BW Kieno Kammies 2019 1500 BW
Today with Kieno Kammies
09:00 - 12:00
volume_up
volume_mute

Up Next: The Midday Report with Lester Kiewit
See full line-up
Today with Kieno Kammies
09:00 - 12:00
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

Sars plans to tax retirement funds if you leave SA, target offshore assets

24 February 2021 8:42 PM

The proposal to tax retirement fund members when no longer tax-resident in SA is not unreasonable, says Prof. Osman Mollagee.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Med scheme covers chemo treatment but not weekly Covid test required by hospital

24 February 2021 7:39 PM

Consumer ninja Wendy Knowler follows up on the case of a patient who'd been paying his membership dues for more than 40 years.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

No tax increases: A 'good news' Budget but SA not out of the woods

24 February 2021 7:17 PM

'We owe a lot of people a lot of money' says Tito Mboweni. Wide-ranging reaction to Budget 2021 on The Money Show.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

J&J jab: WC health workers must bring ID and job proof on top of vaccine ticket

24 February 2021 6:27 PM

The Western Cape Health Department says it's implementing additional security measures after reports of vaccine queue-jumping in the province.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Music teacher becomes first woman to swim breaststroke from Robben Island

24 February 2021 5:00 PM

Kim Prytz took six hours to complete the swim from Robben Island to Melkbos, raising money for vulnerable families in Capricorn.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Woman gets Covid-19 from lung transplant. This expert blames weak donor testing

24 February 2021 4:48 PM

An organ transplant recipient in the US died of Covid-19 two months after contracting the virus from her donor's infected lungs.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Man due in court over theft of 'irreplaceable' San cave art

24 February 2021 4:28 PM

Ron Martin of the South African Heritage Resources Agency says the art is valuable beyond estimation.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Karl Bremer Hospital becomes fourth vaccination site in Cape Town

24 February 2021 2:00 PM

The Karl Bremer Hospital near Belville is the lastest site where healthcare workers are able to receive Covid-19 vaccines in the metro.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

[WATCH LIVE] Budget 2021: Mboweni dives into state of South Africa's economy

24 February 2021 1:03 PM

All eyes were on South African Finance Minister Tito Mboweni as he delivers his 2021 Budget Speech on Wednesday at 2pm.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

'We quit our jobs to make jam' - Couple shares success story

24 February 2021 12:55 PM

Jacobs Jam Company is a level 1 B-BBEE, female, youth-owned jam and sauce manufacturer, located in Ceres.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward