LABOUR minister Prisca Mupfumira will soon submit the principles agreed at the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF) to cabinet that will lead to the crafting of a wholly amended Labour Act, businessdigest has learnt.
The TNF principals thrashed out an agreement and managed to resolve the sticking points which included that of the retrenchment process last month.
Mupfumira told businessdigest on Tuesday that she will submit the agreed principles for approval by cabinet.
“We are agreed on the principles,” Mupfumira said. “I will submit them to cabinet and they will be discussed when they are set on the cabinet agenda.”
She said after going through cabinet the principles will be drafted into a bill which will be discussed at the TNF before it is taken to parliament.
The principals — comprising government, which was represented by Mupfumira; business, which was represented by the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) president Josephat Kahwema; the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions represented by its then deputy president Peter Mutasa and the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions represented by its secretary-general Kennias Shamuyarira — met after both the Labour Law Advisory Council and the TNF technical committee had failed to agree on amendments to the Labour Act.
Should there be no agreement between an employer and retrenched workers, then the case must be taken to the Retrenchment Board, which should come up with a decision within 30 days, the principals agreed.
The TNF principals also agreed that the ministry will come up with a timeframe within which workers give employers notice to strike. Labour wanted the notice period to be reduced from the current 14 working-day period to seven while employers wanted the status quo to remain.
However, the deadlock over the amendment that obligates employers to compensate workers they dismissed last year after the Supreme Court ruling allowing them to do so on just three months’ notice remains unresolved.
Employers took government to the High Court last year to contest the amendment with three members of the class action facing litigation from former employees who are demanding that they be paid the compensation which is two weeks’ salary for every year served.
Sources said Emcoz has since taken the cases of the three members for redress at the Constitutional Court.
Contacted for comment, Emcoz executive director John Mufukare said he could not speak on the issue as it is subjudice.