Place workers on paid leave, Simukoko

Labour and Social Security Minister, Joyce Simukoko has urged employers across the country to place employees on paid annual leave in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Ms Simukoko said this should include those with few or without accrued days.

She says in an event that the above is not feasible, when an Employer places the employees on forced leave, they should ensure that they are paid a basic pay as provided for in section 48 in the Employment Code Act number 3 of 2019.

The Minister says Government is aware of the impact of Covid-19 on sectors such as the Tourism and Agriculture where suspensions of operations have occurred which invariably might cause a challenge on employment relations.

Ms Simukoko was speaking during the Special tripartite Consultative Labour Council meeting on Covid-19 held in Lusaka today.

She said if the public health threat deteriorates the Ministry through the Labour Council will consider further mitigating actions which will be advised to the public in due course.

Ms Simukoko said the meeting has come at a right time to inform the Labour market on measures to be taken to limit the impact of Covid-19 on Employment relations.

And, Zambia Congress of Trade Union’s president Chishimba Nkole appealed to government to ensure that employers comply to existing Labour laws during the period of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Zambia Federation of Employers Acting President Mara Sakala called on government to start preparing for more interventions such as payments to business and workers to cover up to a certain percentage of wages for workers.

Ms Sakala further said the Union is of the view that government should suspend contributions to the National Health Insurance Scheme by all employees.

Alice Nachilembe

Alice Nachilembe is a Journalist who yearns for a better country with leaders being accountable to their mandate without oppressing the governed.

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