Govt to amend Labour Act

Source: Govt to amend Labour Act – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 29, 2017

THE government is amending the Labour Act to address concerns raised by both workers and employees following the 2015 changes to the law, Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira said on Thursday.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

Mupfumira told journalists on the side lines of a four-day Institute of People Management of Zimbabwe (IPMZ) convention and exhibition in Victoria Falls that the draft Labour Bill was now with the Attorney-General and would be tabled before Parliament soon for consideration.

“The draft Bill is now ready at the Attorney-General’s Office and will be submitted soon,” she said.

“All the consultations have been done, which included the three social parties that is government, labour and business parties, so we are ready to go and present.”

Two years ago, the government was forced to make hurried changes to the Labour Act after the Supreme Court ruled that employers could terminate workers’ contracts on three months’ notice.

The minister admitted that the 2015 amendments were made without consultations, but said it was done to stop the mass sacking of workers by employers.

“All of us have been talking about reforming our labour laws in view of the 2015 amendment, which was made without full consultation of all parties,” she said.

“That was done to stop the firing of workers, who were unfairly thrown into the streets.

Mupfumira said it was important to constantly review labour laws because the labour market was dynamic.

“The Bill addresses issues of short-term employment so that we strike a balance and take into account productivity, as it is a key element in all issues to do with labour,” she said.

“This is why we are setting up the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institution, a body, which will address issues to do with technology and availability of resources on the labour market.”

Mupfumira said the labour market in Zimbabwe was now more stable because most people were employed in the informal sector.

Meanwhile, the minister revealed that the government was recruiting 2 300 teachers to address a backlog affecting the education sector.

“We are in the process of recruiting an additional 2 300 teachers and that has been agreed between the ministry of Finance, my ministry, the Public Service Commission and the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education,” she said.

“We have increased schools in resettlement areas and, hence, the need to recruit more teachers.

“We still in need an additional of 7 000 teachers but due to resource constraints we cannot do everything at once. We will continuously improve as resources permit.”