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Namibia: Ban on Labor hire Organizations to Take Effect

(Dec. 8, 2008) In an announcement published in the government gazette on December 3, 2008, Namibian Labor Minister, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, declared that section 128 of the Labor Act of Namibia, a provision that prohibits labor hire practices, will take effect on March 1, 2009. This announcement comes a week after a Namibian High Court cleared the way for implementation of this provision with dismissal of a legal action by African Personnel Services (ASP), the largest of the Namibian labor brokerage companies with up to 8,000 registered workers, challenging the validity of the provision.

The Namibian Labor Act of 2007 took effect on November 1, 2008 (see New Labor Act to Become Effective, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, Oct. 7, 2008, available at // Although the roadblock to the implementation of section 128 has been removed, the provision will not take effect until March of next year “to protect the rights of the affected employees and to allow for an orderly transition,” according to Ngatjieko. (Denver Isaacs: Labor Hire Banned, NAMIBIAN, Dec. 4, 2008, available at

According to section 128 of the Namibian Labor Act, “no person may, for reward, employ any person with the view of making that person available to a third party to perform work for [that] third party.” The prohibition does not apply to job agencies that, unlike labor hire companies that become party to employment relationships, are only involved in “matching offers of and applications for employment.” Violation of the provision on labor hire will entail a fine in the amount of N$80,000 (about US $7,785) and/or imprisonment not exceeding five years. (Labor Act No. 11 of 2007, GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA 103 (Dec. 31, 2007).)