Employers say labour law amendments will result in more job loses

Employers say labour law amendments will result in more job loses

HARARE, August 19 (The Source) – Zimbabwe employers say the proposed amendments to labour law — which were passed by the National Assembly on Tuesday night — would hurt the already struggling economy and accused government of ignoring its contributions.

The upper house, Senate, will debate the bill on Thursday, where some changes proposed by the opposition MDC-T  will be considered after the lower house passed the bill without any amendments against advice of its legal committee.

The Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC), made up of Fortune Chasi (ZANU-PF), Jonathan Samkange (ZANU-PF) and Jessie Majome (MDC-T)  is required to give its opinion on the constitutionality of proposed legislation and had unanimously passed an opinion that found the retrospective effect of the proposed changes to be defective.

Clause 18 of the proposed labour law amendments retrospectively reinstates severance payments and restrictions on sackings after labour unions said more than 20,000 people had lost their jobs since the Supreme Court ruling on July 17 that employees can terminate workers contracts on notice without having to pay retrenchment costs.

Government published the Bill last Friday and the recalled Parliament passed it after debating for several hours.

But on Wednesday the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) said the bill would hurt the already struggling economy and increase labour costs.

“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,” said Emcoz in the statement.

Emcoz also said it would not associate itself with the bill because government ignored its contributions.

“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,” it said.