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File Image: IOL

The pivotal role of Temporary Employment Services in helping businesses in distress

By Opinion Time of article published Nov 26, 2020

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By By Theresa Ackerman

Even with the gradual easing of economic restrictions in recent months, many South African organisations are struggling to find their feet. Some are even battling to stay afloat due to the severe impact of the country’s “hard lockdown” on business.

In many cases, the future looks uncertain for companies that are struggling to generate revenue because of the lockdown, yet still have to cover their overheads. A static or permanent workforce can place additional financial pressure on an organisation, as the payroll is one of a company’s biggest expenses.

While some companies were able to reduce work time, or place some of their employees on reduced salaries, their overheads remain. Others still have applied for assistance from government’s emergency fund, but these are short-term interventions and overheads will still exist after these relief measures are used up.

This situation puts companies under a significant amount of stress, as they constantly need to worry about their permanent workforce and how to generate revenue to pay these employees, who rely on their salaries to survive.

One of the biggest repercussions of a company having to pay salaries when supply and demand is significantly reduced is that of potential job losses. Many local companies – including a number of large enterprises – have had to shut their doors, or close down divisions, further exacerbating the country’s unemployment crisis.

Reducing financial risk

Temporary Employment Services (TES), otherwise known as Experts on Demand, can assist to significantly reduce the financial risk of a permanent workforce. They can also take away the burden of a business having to handle the administrative processes and onerous paperwork, such as UIF claims and other tasks related to staff.

Experts on Demand facilitate a lot of seasonal work, or work on demand, and have a large number of people working on contract for various customers in different industry sectors, during the pandemic. In the case where a customer’s demand for workers declines, they are not burdened with carrying an employee, as the employee is part of the TES workforce and the no work, no pay principle applies.

Another significant benefit of using a TES is that they engage with different industry sectors, at a time when certain industries are busy, while others are struggling. A TES not only relieves the burden on the customer, but also potentially on the candidate, as employees can be moved to sectors that are doing better, creating better opportunities to generate an income.

In terms of UIF claims, in many cases companies would need to employ an additional person just to help them complete the paperwork and do constant follow-ups on the process. Experts on Demand can take this burden away from companies by doing it on their behalf. As the candidates that are placed with organisations are not employees of the company, but rather employees of the TES, the TES will manage the administrative processes that go hand-in-hand with their employment.

Emotional wellbeing

Furthermore, Experts on Demand will also manage the emotional wellbeing of their employees, who have access to the TES’s wellness programmes. The ongoing pandemic has already placed a significant emotional burden on organisations, and a TES can alleviate some of this by looking after needs of the workforce. This also translates into a financial benefit, as it can also cost a lot of money for a company to put measures in place to help people cope emotionally with the current situation.

During the current crisis, Experts on Demand can play a pivotal role in easing the pressure off companies that are struggling to generate revenue by providing resources without a long-term commitment, which would otherwise result in further financial difficulties. At the same time, Experts on Demand will also look after temporary employees, ensuring that their opportunities to earn an income are maximised.

Theresa Ackerman is the Manager of Operational Excellence at T-Systems South Africa Expert on Demand


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