WINDHOEK- Nearly 1 700 people have been retrenched in various sectors of the economy in the last five months, revealed the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina, on Thursday.
He informed fellow MPs in the National Assembly that between October 2017 and March 2018, 1 616 employees were retrenched locally, due to closure of some companies, contracts ending or restructuring.
He was responding to Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian, Jennifer Van den Heever, who had asked the minister to what extent has the ministry made sure that procedures are followed when employees are retrenched.
Nghimtina said the mandate of the ministry is to provide labour and employment services envisioning a productive nation enjoying harmonious industrial relations, decent work and full employment.
In order to ensure compliance with the set-down procedures as per the Labour Act, Nghimtina said, the ministry has embarked upon various initiatives to enforce compliance and facilitate cooperation with relevant affected parties.
He said some initiatives include the development and improvement of relevant labour and employment-related laws and structures.
“The Labour Act is currently being revised by a tripartite committee and suitable proposals addressing retrenchment may be considered for inclusion,” he said.
Another initiative, Nghimtina said, is the improved enforcement of the labour law.
He said the Labour Commission has prioritised retrenchment-related dispute referrals to fast-track arbitrator/conciliation processes.
“Employers are requested to provide detailed information on retrenchments and the relevant provisions of the Labour Act, i.e. section 34 are strictly monitored,” said the labour minister.
Furthermore, he said cooperation with other ministries, like the Ministry of Finance, requires a confirmation from the Labour Commissioner that the provisions of the Labour Act are complied with by companies before issuing tax directives permitting retrenchment payouts to be made tax-free.
Additionally, the minister said, another initiative includes registering employers and workers to facilitate employment.
“The Employment Service Act, 2011 established the Namibia Integrated Employment Information System (NIEIS), which includes a national electronic employment registration system, and is operational and increasingly being used by workers and employers to fill vacancies,” he explained.
Also, he added that the international cooperation on decent cooperation with ILO on reviewing and implementing a Decent Work Country programme towards the achievements of the mandate of the ministry is well on track.
2018-10-29 09:08:10 6 months ago