Columnists Features

Zambia re-aligning labour, employment policy

IN THE recent past, the labour market trends have been rapidly changing, leading to the dynamic challenges which require appropriate and innovative policy and legal responses.
Zambia in not an island and we also have an inadequate legal and policy framework.
The Zambian government is in the process of re-aligning the legal and policy framework in the employment and labour sub-sector in order to better respond to the challenges of the labour market.
The decent work agenda expresses the best possible intersection between the Zambia’s characteristics and policies and priorities with the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) mandate and strategic objectives.
It sets out priorities and desired outcomes that will form the basis for ILO work programmes and technical cooperation interventions for a country within a medium term period.
The programme also constitutes ILO’s contribution to the United Nations development assistance framework for the country.
It is government’s responsibility to protecting the interests of all stakeholders and social partners through a broad range of measures that encourage social dialogue and harmonious labour relations in addressing employment and labour challenges.
However, for these measures to be effective, strong partnerships between government, workers representatives, employer’s organisations and the stakeholders are important, with government itself, as a custodian of policy and legislation, taking a leading role in demonstrating unwavering commitment.
As you may be aware, the reforms aim at modernising and collapsing 12 pieces of legislation into five.
With regards to the process of revising the employment act (Cap 268) of the Laws of Zambia, government intends to introduce an amendment bill in Parliament which is a fast track amendment to the Employment Act.
This amendment seeks to curb casualisation of jobs as well as protect workers against unjustified dismissals.
The author is Minister of Labour and Social Security.

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