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drafts Bill to ease working conditions
April 09, 2005
has drafted a Bill that seeks to ease working conditions, especially
for women, by amending principal sections of the Labour Relations
If passed into
law, the Bill to be introduced as soon as the Sixth Parliament roars
into life, will increase maternity leave for women from 12 to 14
weeks and allow women in their first year of employment to go on
maternity leave with full benefits.
who fall pregnant in their first year of employment go on unpaid
In an interview
yesterday, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare,
Cde Paul Mangwana, said the Bill would be tabled in Parliament soon.
law infringes on the rights of women, especially those who fall
pregnant in their first year of service by not paying them money
when they are on maternity leave and freedom of choice as when to
new Bill, Government seeks to make the law more gender sensitive
and not prejudice women," Cde Mangwana said.
said in order to curb situations where employers fire workers easily,
the new law will design particular codes of conduct to be used in
all companies across the country.
are thus being prejudiced because, in essence, an employee is not
interested in monetary gains only, but in providing service, labour
and being occupied and earning a living.
which option to make, onus should be on the employer to prove that
the employment relationship is no longer tenable. Currently, a mere
allegation that the relationship is no longer conducive suffices,"
position entails assessment of the nature of the relationship, the
size of the employer, whether the employee prefers damages to reinstatement,
the situation in the labour market like whether the fired employee
would easily find another job and any other factors the court may
In the Bill,
an employer who fires his or her employee(s) when he or she is at
fault, would have to pay more damages to the fired employee(s).
also said the Labour Relations Amendment Bill intends to make the
amended Labour Relations Act absolutely superior by simply stating
that the Act be supreme to all labour relations.
words, no Act should give room to the exception of the operation
of the Labour Act.
this gives room to a medley of labour law regimes making it impossible
for the common man, let alone practitioner, to know which labour
law regime governs a particular industry. Any party, which is not
happy about a decision, can appeal to the Supreme Court under the
proposed amended Labour Act," he said.
Under the proposed
Labour Relations Amendment Bill, all employment organisations would
be governed by the Labour Act except civil servants who are governed
by the Public Service Commission.
authorities, whose conditions were governed by the Urban Council’s
Act, would now be governed by the Labour Act," Cde Mangwana
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