Chairperson of Namibia’s 14 Labour Advisory Council (LAC) Tuli-Mevava Nghiyoonanye has indicated that the transitioning of the country’s informal economy to a formal one is expected to be a priority on the LAC’s agenda during its current tenure. Nghiyoonanye also stated that priority would also be focused on redirecting dialogue at the LAC on how to cope with the impacts of Covid-19 and ensure that the Decent Work Agenda receives ample attention at the Council.
The LAC will, at its first meeting slated for July 2020, nominate Members of the Essential Services Committee (ESC) and Committee for Dispute Prevention and Resolution (CDPR), which are statutory bodies as per the requirements of the Labour Act, and any other Committee it deems necessary such as one on the informal economy.
The functions of the council are, inter alia, to investigate and advise the minister responsible for labour and employment matters such as collective bargaining; national policy in respect of basic conditions of employment; health, safety and welfare at work; the prevention of unemployment, and issues arising from the International Labour Organisation, to name a few. The LAC’s members are drawn from employers, employees’ representatives and the State.
The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation (MLIREC) held a two-day induction for the 14th LAC on 11 and 12 June 2020. During the induction, the council engaged with senior managers on expectations from the labour ministry’s various offices, divisions and directorates and gained an understanding of their operative environment.
The labour ministry’s deputy executive director (DED), Lydia Indombo, in her welcoming remarks, noted that despite being from individual constituencies, which in most instances may create antagonistic interests, the council should be as objective as possible in their deliberations and make collective recommendations in the best interest of the general public.
Indombo stated that the LAC has been the showcase of tripartism in Namibia, which has a direct impact on productivity, economic efficiency and competitiveness. “We (MLIREC) believe that tripartism is the foundation of social dialogue. It promotes democracy, sustainable development, social justice, as well as peace and stability,” said Indombo.
The council is tasked with, among others, to support the ministry in addressing the issue of lengthy legal enforcement procedures and place emphasis on the inclusion of the ‘labour inspector enforcement power’ in the law that enables them to close, with immediate effect, any workplace that is found serving as a danger area to employees. The council has actively participated in the implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which reflects the priorities of government and its social partners.
In terms of playing its role in matters pertaining to labour and employment legislations, the LAC is expected to take an active role in the review of rules and regulations dealing with the Labour Act of 2007; amendment of the Social Security Act of 1994; the development of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill, and finalisation of the national inspection policy during its tenure.
2020-06-30 10:59:38 | 6 days ago