18.07.2019 – Meeting with Ministry of Labour on the New Employment Code

EUZBC engage the Ministry of Labour on the New Employment Code: 18.07.2019

On 18 July 2019, the EUZBC organised an event to discuss the New Employment Code enacted by Government effective 9 May 2019. The event was graced by the Labour Commissioner, Mr Chanda Kaziya. The objective of the event was to engage the Zambian government on issues relating to the newly introduced employments code and its impact on business.

In delivering his opening remarks, Mr Henk Mulder, President of the EUZBC recognised the importance of employment laws as they provide a framework of rights and obligations at the workplace and protect the health of the workforce in order to promote sustainable economic growth. However, he cautioned on the need to strike a balance to ensure that such laws do not negatively impact on employment and over competitiveness and growth of businesses. He indicated that there have been mixed reactions from the private sector on the new employment code and hoped that the event would give members of the EUZBC an opportunity to exchange and share ideas with Government, through the Ministry of Labour, on issues that have an impact on the private sector. He applauded the government the Government for setting up the skills Advisory Committee as it was an important avenue to improve the availability of skills. He urged the government to ensure private sector representation on the committee in order to provide critical input especially with regards to issuance of work permits which is so intertwined to the availability of skills.

Two presentations were made by Mr Mabvuto Sakala, a representative from Corpus legal Practitioners, giving reflections and critique from the private sector point of view and another by Mr Kaziya, the Labour Commissioner covering key issues in the new employment code.

From the discussions that ensured, EUZBC members expressed concern with the additional labour costs that the new law will bring. Other concerns included the lack of clarity of some of the provisions in the law such as payment of gratuity and housing allowances. Other concerns included the seemingly generous provisions for female employees (e.g longer maternity leave) which had the possibility of negatively impacting the recruitment of women.

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