Bosses hit back at Covid-19 retrenchment ban

27 April 2020 | Labour

ESTER KAMATI

WINDHOEK



Directives communicated by the ministry of labour have been disputed by the Namibia Employers' Association (NEA) and Namibia Employers' Federation (NEF).

The directives include a ban on retrenchments for 28 days after the Covid-19 lockdown period, which is supposed to end at midnight on 4 May.

To reduce wages and salaries, trade unions and/or employees' consent will be needed in writing. It is also prohibited to reduce people's compensation if they work a full day - whether in the office or at home. The Labour Act prohibits a reduction of more than 50% in employees' pay. Any reduction in benefits must, by law, be reflected by a reduction in working hours. In a letter to labour ministry executive director Bro-Mathew Shinguadja, the NEA objected to the directives and appealed to the ministry to reconsider the matter and not gazette the regulations. The NEA, which was not part of the discussions that took place from 24 March, supposedly did not respond to the ministry's invitation sent via email on 23 March.

In the letter, the NEA suggests that the ministry discuss the regulations with the Labour Advisory Council (LAC) prior to gazetting them. “The directives came as a result of consultations that we had among the trade union federations, the employers' federation and ourselves,” replied Shinguadja. He added that during the discussions there was general agreement on what the guidelines should look like.





“That's true, they (the NEA) were not consulted because an email sent on 23rd was unanswered.”

The Namibia Employers' Federation, National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) and Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna), who are all members of the LAC, were consulted, Shinguadja said.



Wording changed

The NEF's Daan Strauss said the wording of the directives was not the same as what was agreed upon during the meetings. He added that it came as a surprise that it was now unlawful to retrench.

“When we last met, the wording was quite different and there was no talk of making it retrospective from the first of April and for 28 days after the lockdown,” Strauss said.

He added that some employers had already negotiated retrenchment packages with their staff from the beginning of February and reached amicable agreements.

The NEF had requested a meeting with the ministry and was awaiting feedback, he said.

Similar News

 

Lay-off fears mount after landmark ruling

2 weeks ago - 24 June 2020 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKFears are mounting over widespread Covid-19 retrenchments after the High Court declared regulations by the labour ministry, aimed at banning dismissals, salary cuts...

Workers underpaid at Wu's housing project

2 weeks ago - 19 June 2020 | Labour

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDULabourers recruited by subcontractors building houses for prominent Chinese businesswoman Stina Wu are paid far below the minimum wage.At the site in Rundu's Kaisosi...

Pick n Pay to lay off 500

2 weeks ago - 19 June 2020 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKESWindhoekPick n Pay Namibia yesterday announced that it will retrench 500 of its 1 931 employees in an effort to make the business sustainable.The...

Sardarov’s workers on a warpath

3 weeks ago - 16 June 2020 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA group of former farmworkers at Marula Game Lodge outside Windhoek, which belongs to Russian billionaire Rashid Sardarov, are claiming unfair labour practices and...

Govt probes claims of ‘racial’ retrenchments

3 weeks ago - 16 June 2020 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe ministry of labour is investigating claims that some companies plan on retrenching workers on the basis of their skin colour, as Covid-19 continues...

Over 120 lose jobs at Stina Wu’s project

1 month - 03 June 2020 | Labour

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUAbout 120 people lost their jobs yesterday after a fallout between Chinese-born business magnate Stina Wu and a subcontractor that labour inspectors found to...

Fired writer's case reaches labour court

1 month - 20 May 2020 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEK Former Namibia Press Agency (Nampa) freelance writer and columnist Vitalio Angula's dismissal case is due to be heard in the...

Retrenchment ban: Bosses backtrack on court battle

2 months ago - 30 April 2020 | Labour

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Namibia Employer's Federation (NEF) has parked its plan to drag government to court over regulations that include a ban on retrenchments until at...

Bosses hit back at Covid-19 retrenchment ban

2 months ago - 27 April 2020 | Labour

ESTER KAMATIWINDHOEKDirectives communicated by the ministry of labour have been disputed by the Namibia Employers' Association (NEA) and Namibia Employers' Federation (NEF).The directives include a...

Social security for informal traders proposed

2 months ago - 22 April 2020 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKThe Namibia Informal Traders and Shebeen Workers Union says there is now a clear need for its members to start benefiting from social safety...

Latest News

Massive cold front on the...

7 hours ago | Weather

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK A massive cold front is developing in the South Atlantic and is expected to reach Namibia early on Friday. It brings with...

Namibian police never learn

7 hours ago | Opinion

Newspaper column inches have been exhausted with stories of victims of violence who were turned away by police and later got murdered.In 2018, five members...

Thousands of disabled children left...

7 hours ago | Education

Elizabeth JosephWINDHOEKAbout 2 595 children with disabilities, aged between three and five, do not attend early childhood development (ECD) programmes in Namibia.This was revealed by...

Back in the swing of...

7 hours ago | Education

Justicia Shipena WINDHOEKPhase two of face-to-face learning is officially in full swing, with pre-primary to grade three learners donning face masks and practicing social distancing...

Truck driver caught with mandrax...

7 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK A Namibian truck driver was arrested on Monday at the Ariamsvlei border post for being in possession of 1 014 mandrax...

New levies on fruit and...

7 hours ago | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) has announced new regulations for imports of fruit and vegetables.The NAB is mandated to regulate horticultural products imported into...

Agra launches Weaner Auction Championship...

7 hours ago | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKThe annual Agra Weaner Championship Series was launched last week at the Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring in Windhoek.The series is an opportunity for farmers nationwide...

B2Gold project steps in to...

7 hours ago | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKLocal organisations supporting conservation in Namibia have seen their budgets slashed by up to 30%, as the coronavirus pandemic significantly impacts the world's economy.Among...

Conservancy consultations resume after lockdown

7 hours ago | Environment

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe N?a Jaqna Conservancy has resumed village consultation meetings with its members that were put on hold earlier this year due to the coronavirus...

Load More