via Employers, govt set for legal showdown – The Zimbabwe Independent September 18, 2015
AS the fallout from the recent labour reforms continue, employers are this week set to drag government to court to appeal against some of the clauses in the amended Labour Act, businessdigest has learnt.
Government amended the Labour Act in August this year, a process triggered by the July 17 Supreme Court ruling which allowed employers to dismiss workers on three months’ notice without a retrenchment package. This resulted in more than 20 000 employees losing their jobs.
Sources told businessdigest this week that among the clauses being contested by employers are the clauses that mandate employers to compensate workers dismissed using the ruling with a retrenchment package.
The other clause likely to be contested is the clause that stipulates that contract workers will become permanent staff should they be contracted for a particular number of times.
“Business is exploring remedies at law to get relief on some of the provisions in the revised Labour act. We hope to do this before the end of this week,” an informed source said. “Business will be clear on the clauses that require that form of attention and the decisions taken by business will be advised to stakeholders.”
When contacted for comment on the pending court case on Wednesday, Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe president Jack Murehwa would not be drown into commentry saying:
“ We do not deal with issues through the press.”
The amendments which sailed through Parliament in August angered employers who accused government of ignoring their contributions to the amendments.
“The current Minister of Public Service Labour and Social Welfare is the first minister to have totally ignored the contributions from a social partner (business) and therefore the concept of tripartism,” Emcoz wrote in a statement after the amendments passed through Parliament.
The statement was signed by representatives of various business organisations which include Chamber of Mines , Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Zimbabwe Council for Tourism. “Business reiterates that HB7/2015 will result in further deterioration of economic activity, resulting in further closure of companies, loss of jobs, less income to the fiscus, decline in social fabric and more importantly reduction in investor attraction into Zimbabwe,”the statement added.