Labour laws and industrial relations as catalysts for industrial development and labour welfare
Silas Ashipa Labour laws mediate the relationship between employees, employing entities, trade unions and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer and union. In the Namibian context, labour laws offer dual protection to both employer and employee. Indeed, labour law regulations order to some degree how employers should interact with their employees. This eliminates conflict which demonstrates stress to everyone involved. Empathy is important because the entities are likely to be more successful and preventing conflict between the employers and employees because it causes expensive and exhausting strikes. In this regard, I have to make a special emphasis to all Namibians participating in the labour market to acquaint themselves with the Labour Act in order to gain knowledge about the Basic Conditions of Employment and the disciplinary procedures. Compliance with the Labour Act is financially benefiting to both the employer and employee. For instance, if an employer is compliant, s/he avoids fines resulting from not following the laws, as well as potential lawsuits. Labour laws preserve the right of the employers to profit and the right of the employees to compensation which can be spent and invested, therefore, labour laws are crucial to the economic growth. Periods of economic growth reflect healthy businesses with employees who are earning enough to contribute successfully. Under common law, employers are obliged to provide their employees with reasonably safe and healthy working conditions. Also, the Labour Act stipulates the Labour Relations and Occupational Health and Safety regulations. Workplace health and safety procedures are necessary for the well-being of both the employer and employee. Violence in the workplace is an ever-growing concern in today’s business community, diseases, fatal accidents and other health concerns also affect a worker’s ability to effectively perform his/ her job duties. It is important for employers to take the necessary control measures to protect employees from the health and safety concerns of today’s corporate community such as Risk Assessment. Risk Assessment is a careful or a systematic examination of the workplace environment and jobs performed, involving the identification of hazards and assessing the risk and how workers there may possibly be harmed. Occupational health and safety starts with health assessment to determine hazards, evaluation of risk and determination of protective measures that need to be put in place. The creation of decent employment opportunities whereby employees are to be given training on the use of First Aid, correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment is one way and the most effective way to enhance our economy through wealth creation, which is done by growing the economy in a sustainable inclusive manner. Managements have got the most important functions to create enthusiasm amongst the employees to execute in the best of their abilities. Businesses must take an active approach in educating workers on the importance of practicing safe habits in order to maintain a healthy and safe working environment. Healthy employees who feel safe and comfortable in their work environment will work more productively than employees who become injured or sick in the workplace. This can tarnish the company’s reputation, because the company’s customers, investors and the general public will probably perceive the company as unprofessional if they learn of the company’s safety oversights. Fewer people may purchase goods or services from the business as a result, and the company may have a more difficult time securing any loans it might need. Therefore, a safe and non-threatening work environment is necessary to maintain a high level of employees’ motivation. Motivation is important because it inspires employees’ performance to achieve their goals and improve business performance (production). Motivation boosts the employees’ morale to execute their duties, thus a motivated employee is a valuable asset who delivers huge value to the Industry in maintaining and strengthening business and revenue growth. If the employees are not motivated to perform, they are likely to perform at the rate slower than normal (also known as a ‘go-slow’) or, while working, they engage in actions which retard the production process such as working against their employers’ interests; they are less productive, negatively influence their coworkers, miss workdays, high rate of turnover and drive clients away. Less productivity in the organisation causes less profit which affects our country’s economy negatively, because the GDP is also less. NB: Every sent lost in the business has got an impact to the economy of the country. Due to this background, potential and current investors may be reluctant to invest in the economy causing the investment component of the economy to decrease. As a result, overall total expenditure will fall, causing a decrease in total demand. The activity of the business community is not only bringing in revenue needed for the national sustainability and development, but also employment and income to the Namibian workers. The employment relationship needs to be cemented and strengthened to ensure the building of a strong economy which helps all Namibians. Let us rededicate ourselves, work hard and engage each other respectively to pursue with greater determination, a radical path of socio-economic transformation, job creation and equitable distribution of resources. Let us examine, critically and honestly, our commitment to employment fairness and create a more vibrant economy. * Silas Ashipa holds a Bachelor of Human Resources Management from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), majoring in Industrial Relations, Labour Laws and Occupational Health and Safety.
2018-02-02 10:49:59 7 months ago