EMPLOYERS have recommended to government that the termination of contracts on three months’ notice should be maintained with payment of gratuities only be mandatory if prescribed by specific national employment councils (NECs), businessdigest has learnt.
This is part of the submissions employers made to be considered for inclusion in the amended Labour Act, sources said.
At a consultative meeting recently, employers suggested a fixed retrenchment package where workers will be given a package of one weeks’ pay for ever year served as pertaining in South Africa, the country’s largest trading partner.
“Employers feel three months notice is enough,” an insider said. “Our final proposal is we should maintain dismissals on three months’ notice and gratuity provisions be given only according to various NEC requirements.”
Other submissions are that an employee on a fixed contract automatically ceases to be an employee once the contract expires.
Contacted on the issue, Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe executive director John Mufukare refused to comment.
“I will not comment on that as that would be negotiating in public,” he said.
This comes at a time companies have used the ruling to lay off workers. These include Croco Motors, Econet Wireless, Moonlight Funeral Services, Sino Zimbabwe, Steward Bank, Unilever Zimbabwe, Choppies, TN Holdings and Medtech.
State entities such as National Railways of Zimbabwe, Air Zimbabwe, Grain Marketing Board and Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe have also dismissed workers.
Although cabinet this week approved the amendments to the Labour Bill, it is unlikely to be amended until the beginning of September when parliament resumes sitting, leaving workers vulnerable.