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Employers call for indaba over draconian law

By AARON CHIYANZO
THE raft of draconian labour laws threatening to collapse businesses and lead to mass job losses in Zambia will be the subject of a meeting which Zambia Federation of Employers the (ZFE) has called with the Minister of Labour and Social Security.
This follows minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko’s sentiments that she had not heard from the employers over the biting law and that there was nothing wrong with it.
ZFE executive director Harrington Chibanda said it had engaged Government to defer the implementation of the Employment Code Act No. 3 of 2019, which according to the commencement order was supposed to be in full force on May 12, 2020.
“ZFE would like to inform all employers in the country that ZFE raised this matter among other issues on expectations from government to cushion Employers on the impact of COVID-19 that the Government should consider to defer the implementation of the Employment Act No. 3 of 2019,” he said in a statement.
Mr Chibanda said it was shocking to hear Ms Simukoko say the employers had not raised this matter with her office.
“ZFE will request for a meeting with the minister to discuss this matter again and hopefully all sector employer associations who are members of ZFE will be invited to attend this meeting,” he said.
A representative of the employers who attended a press briefing by Minister of Finance Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu warned that the new code which introduced a raft of new allowances and conditions favouring employees had the capacity of crippling struggling companies into insolvency thereby shedding jobs while shrinking the economy.
The new employment law compels the payment of exorbitant allowances, risking the collapse of several businesses as well as leading to mass job losses.
At Monday’s press briefing by the Finance Minister, the Manufacturers Association of Zambia complained of the burden that the new labour rules imposed on them and asked the minister if the Act could be suspended.

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