Employers to meet Kagonye

EMPLOYERS are scheduled to meet Labour minister Petronella Kagonye today to discuss issues which include the amendment of the Labour Act as well as map the way forward for the year, businessdigest has learnt.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

This will be the first meeting between employers and Kagonye, who was appointed minister in November last year in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s first cabinet. Mnangagwa was sworn in on November 24 last year, succeeding Robert Mugabe, who resigned amid impeachment proceedings against him triggered by military intervention.

Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe executive director John Mufukare told businessdigest on Wednesday that they will meet the minister this morning to establish the plans, including the agenda and date for the first Tripartite Negotiating Forum meeting of the year.

“We are going to meet the minister on Friday (today) and we will be asking her when the TNF is going to meet and what the agenda of the meeting will be,” Mufukare said. “The meeting will set the agenda for what we are going to do this year.”

The TNF is a social dialogue platform that brings together government, business and labour to negotiate over key socio-economic matters. It has been in existence since 1998 as a voluntary and unlegislated chamber in which socio-economic matters are discussed and negotiated over by the social partners.

The meeting comes at a time the three TNF partners are engaged in the amendment of the Labour Act which is now at the draft stage as well as legalising the TNF so as to make their resolutions binding.

The amendment of the Labour Act was triggered by the 2015 Supreme Court ruling which allowed employers to dismiss workers on three months’ notice without paying a retrenchment package

The ruling resulted in thousands of workers losing their jobs. Trade unions estimated that 30 000 were affected by the ruling. Employers, however said they had conducted a survey to establish those affected by the ruling and found that 9 115 workers had lost their jobs as a result of the Supreme Court ruling.

Meanwhile, Emcoz has expressed optimism in the Mnangagwa administration which has introduced a raft of measures which include the retirement of government workers above the age of 65 as well as the reduction of perks for senior government officials.

“We are hopeful of the new administration because they have been making the right noises. There is an air of optimism,” Mufukare said. “What remains to be seen is if government can walk the talk.”

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