Temporary/flexible employment (termed as “atypical employment”) has become a norm in South Africa’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management market which is project-focused and has fluctuating requirements.


Atypical forms of employment are one of the many ways in which businesses provide for flexibility in their operations. Atypical employment may take on many forms, such as the outsourced flexible labour relations between a client, an agent and an employee.


The TESD seeks to self-regulate the way in which this tripartite relationship is managed by standardising employment contracts that comply with labour laws and the manner in which TESD members interact with the other two role players.


The Constructional Engineering Association (South Africa) – a member of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa (SEIFSA) – established the Temporary Employment Services Division (TESD) in February 2003. The TESD was born out of a twofold need which was to provide temporary employment service providers with a representative body that would provide a forum in which they could agree on how to regulate this specialised industry to serve the needs of their clients and to protect the rights of their candidates in a legally compliant environment. Secondly, the TESD would give this sector a voice and serve the needs of its members.


The TESD has its own by-laws that govern the manner in which the organisation functions and provide clear guidelines for members on various aspects of how self-regulation will be applied by the TESD and its various committees. The TESD also has a Code of Ethics which governs the relationship between the TES providers, the clients and the employees. The key elements of the Code of Ethics are:

  • Transparency in contracts with stakeholders.
  • Responsibility for ethical employment relations with employees.
  • Compliance with labour law as for “normal” employers.

Members of the TESD supply “white collar” professionals like draughtsmen, engineers, project managers and technicians to the engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) companies, mining houses and the manufacturing industry.

TES providers have the professionals to help you get the job done…

Through the CEA and SEIFSA, the TESD is aligned to national bodies like Business Unity South Africa (Busa) and the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). It also has links with the Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Sector (CAPES), the Services Seta (in particular the Labour Recruitment Chamber) and the South African Chamber of Business (Sacob).


  • To gain access to resources that are not available internally.
  • To keep the headcount to a minimum.
  • To reduce and control operating expenditure.
  • To eliminate the potential threat of labour disputes or additional costs associated with permanently employing staff.
  • The bottom line is that it is cheaper for a company to outsource its labour requirements than to employ people internally.


The following objectives of the TESD are intended to add value to its nine member organisations, clients of its members and most importantly the employees of the member companies.

  • To provide members, clients and employees with the security of an organisation that is recognised and representative of the temporary employment services industry.
  • To provide membership opportunities to all industry participants.
  • To promote the TESD in the industry and thereby increase its membership.
  • To develop effective lobbying, bargaining and negotiating strategies through the combined efforts of all participants within the industry.
  • To be aligned to associated temporary employment service organisations in other industries, such as the IT industry.
  • To prepare a common charter for effective lobbying while gaining recognition for the temporary staffing industry as a whole.
  • To self-regulate our industry to promote uniformity in compliance with changing legislation and industry requirements.
  • To create awareness of and gain recognition for our niche temporary staffing industry and the flexible staffing requirements of our clients.
  • To create value for all participants.
  • To develop professional services within the industry for all participants based on a code of ethics and legal compliance as well as mutual trust and respect.