As part of its “Zimbabwe is Open for business” drive the government is looking to amend the Labour Act in order to protect the right of workers. This is despite the fact that a lot of civil servants have complained about how the government is exploiting them by cancelling vacation, unilateral dismissals and refusal to honour agreed pay hikes
The president released a statement on Worker’s Day (yesterday) in which he called workers “the backbone of our economy.” He said the new measures were meant to create a safe and enabling environment for workers
What measures are being proposed?
Areas that will see changes include:
- Maternity Leave
- Termination of contracts on notice
- Unfair dismissals
- Disciplinary procedures
Are these measures needed?
Yes. One of the downsides of a high unemployment rate is the erosion of bargaining power. Unions no longer have an equal footing in negotiations. Employers can even fire their entire working force and hire from the overflowing labour market.
Case in point is when the Vice President C. Chiwenga threatened to fire nurses. There were enough nurses unemployed to allow this to happen.