APS Apologises to Govt for Court Action

THE management of Africa Personnel Services (APS) has apologised to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka, on Wednesday.

The biggest labour hire company in Namibia had taken government to court, claiming that the ban on labour hire was an unconstitutional infringement on its right to do business.

APS Group Financial Director Robert de Villiers said when they had a chance to appeal last year after they lost the case but he said they refused to do so because they wanted to stop fighting with government.

“When our lawyers aised us to appeal last year we refused to do so because we want to build relations with the government. Especially for our employees’ sake,” de Villiers said.

He said APS had a change of heart and would, from now on, allow the union to deal with salary negations.

“We have now also allowed our employees to have a union that represents them,” he said.

Subsequently, Sioka accepted their apology, adding that she believes the initiative is aimed at restoring sound labour relations with those workers who were and possibly, are still, aersely affected by the infamous practices of labour hire.

“I am therefore encouraged by APS’s apparent realisation that the ministry, employers and workers should work in unison to promote the decent employment agenda for the sake of our workers and that of our country,” Sioka added.

The restrictions on labour hire in Namibia were introduced when an amendment to the Labour Act came into force in August 2012.

The amendment of the Labour Act is aimed at prohibiting discrimination between workers, which labour hire companies provide to their clients, and workers directly employed by such client companies.

A high court decision of November 2008 upheld the ban on labour hire but the Supreme Court decided otherwise and declared the ban unconstitutional in December 2009. Consequently, the Namibian government decided to amend legislation to severely limit or prevent labour hire companies from operating in the country.

Source : The Namibian