Business - Featured - Local - Top Stories - September 30, 2021

Labour amendment bill approved

Government has approved the Labour Amendment Bill which was presented by the Attorney-General on behalf of the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.

The Bill aligns the Labour Amendment Act to Section 65 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013, and to the ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions. The Bill, also provides for the rights to fair and safe labour practices and standards.

Speaking at the post cabinet briefing Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa said the amendments also makes provision for the promotion of the ease of doing business in the labour market through the streamlining of the labour dispute settlement and retrenchment processes.

“The Bill also takes care of emerging issues in the world of work such as labour broking, violence and harassment at the work place and emerging forms of employment relationships with a view to closing the lacuna in the existing legislation thus entrenching fair labour standards contemplated in section 65 of the Constitution.

“Provisions are also made to deal with “gender-based violence” and other cases of violence and harassment at the work place,” Mutsvangwa said.

Clause 3 outlines the types of work which shall not be defined as forced labour.

“These include the following any work or service exacted by virtue of compulsory military service laws, which forms part of the normal civic obligations voluntarily undertaken by citizens; exacted from any person as a consequence of a conviction in a court of law; and exacted by a public authority by virtue of any law in cases of emergency,” Mutsvangwa said.

Clause 11 seeks to amend section 18 to align the Labour Act to Section 65(7) of the Constitution to ensure that women employees have the right to fully paid maternity leave for a period of 3 months by removing qualifying periods, prescribed intervals for maternity and a number of times for enjoying the right to maternity leave under one employer.

“The Bill will go a long way in maintaining balance between guaranteeing employee rights and ensuring productivity in the workplace.

“The issue of dysfunctional fragmentation of unions in the various economic sectors vis-à-vis the right to freedom of association will also be provided for,” Mutsvangwa said.


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