Covid-19: Govt cautions against drastic job cuts, initiates labour, business dialogue
By Staff Reporter
GOVERNMENT has urged Zimbabwean employers to refrain from taking any drastic measures that threaten the job security of vulnerable employees in the wake of a coronavirus outbreak that has necessitated an unprecedented, prolonged job and business break.
This was said in a statement by Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima Friday.
Mavima said his ministry has since engaged employers and labour to craft a policy that would guide the conduct of parties during the current operational and economic instabilities coupled with uncertainties brought by the world pandemic.
“All employers are therefore urged to; refrain from imposing unpaid leave measures, retrenchments, and unfair terminations on workers during the lockdown period. Use of unpaid leave during the lockdown should only be considered through mutual agreements.
“Accordingly, social dialogue structures at enterprise level and national Employment Councils (NECs) should be utilised for this purpose,” read the statement in part.
Zimbabwe’s fragile economy finds itself in a fresh crisis with government imposing a 21-day national lockdown to prevent the further spread of a disease that has seen 13 confirmed cases and three deaths so far.
Businesses, likewise find themselves losing millions of potential revenue during the job break, something feared could lead to employers cutting back on staff strengths or trimming wages.
Against that background and in a bid to bring uniformity to the situation, government has drafted a paper on comprehensive market measures for Covid-19.
The paper, according to the minister, “is being subjected to virtual tripartite consultations…”
READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE: Covid 19 Presser MPSLSW.pdf