Employers to meet over labour reforms

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File photo:Nearly 1 300 workers have been retrenched in the second quarter of this year, bringing the total to over 2 000 in six months.

Employers raised the issue in the meeting over the delays in cleaning up the amendments if they first have to review the whole Labour Act.

EMPLOYERS will hold a crunch meeting in Harare next Friday to discuss government’s proposal to amend the entire Labour Act instead of contentions changes made to the legislation last year, businessdigest has learnt.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

This follows a meeting held last week on Friday under the auspices of the Labour Advisory Council to discuss government’s stance to overhaul the Labour Act Chapter 28:01 instead of just cleaning up the Labour Amendments Act No. 5 of 2015 passed by Parliament in August last year. The meeting was chaired by deputy director of labour administration Francis Mafuratidze.

Sources said employers at the Friday meeting raised concerns over the proposal as they felt this would delay the removal of certain contentious clauses that were included in the amended legislation.

One of the contested clauses is one which obliges employers to compensate workers who have been dismissed in the same way they recompense a worker who has been retrenched. Government, an insider said, stuck to its guns on the issue.

“Employers raised the issue in the meeting over the delays in cleaning up the amendments if they first have to review the whole Labour Act,” the source said.

“Government said there is nothing they can do about the delay but promised they would work as fast as they can to amend the whole Act which will then take care of those contested amendments.”

The Labour Act will be amended by reviewing the 13 principles agreed by government, labour and business in 2014, sources said.

“The three parties will review the 13 principles and will see which of the principles have been overtaken by events since they were agreed upon and need to be removed,” an insider revealed.

The Labour Advisory Council is a sub- committee of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum. The TNF is a social dialogue platform that brings together government, business and labour to negotiate key socio-economic matters. It has been in existence since 1998 as a voluntary and unlegislated chamber.

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