Human resource managers urged to enforce labour laws
Livingstone, May 31, ZANIS —-Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda has challenged Human resources practitioners in the country to play a pivotal role in ensuring that the amended labour laws are effectively enforced in their work places.
In a speech read on his behalf by Labour Deputy Minister Rayford Mbulu during the official opening of the Zambia Institute of Human Resource (ZIHRM) meeting held at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone today, Mr Shamenda said the human resources practitioners in the country should play an advisory role to their management to ensure that the country’s labour laws are adhered to.
Mr Shamenda observed that while government has successfully reviewed a number of statutory instruments related to labour such as the revision of the minimum wage as promised in its manifesto, the labour market in Zambia still faced a number of challenges such as poor working culture, poor conditions of service, non-compliance to labour laws among others.
The Labour minister said government expects all human resources’ practitioners in the country never to disregard labour laws but to appreciate and correctly interpret the labour laws and advise their employers accordingly.
“While the majority of employers in the country are now complying with the revised minimum wages, my ministry is disturbed by reports of some few employers who are not paying according to the statutory instruments,” said Mr Shamenda.
“ And this is where we expect the Human resources personnel to appreciate and interpret labour laws to employers to create interface between management and workers to facilitate social dialogue in order to promote harmonious industrial relations,” Mr Shamenda said.
The minister further urged the human resources personnel to assert themselves and point out wrong things at the places of work whether by their management or their workers.
“Let us not have rubber stamps human resources personnel who merely carry out instruction as directed even if such instructions are wrong and will disadvantage Zambia workers, but let us have human resource personnel who stand their ground and call a spade a spade even at the expense of losing employment,” said Mr Shamenda.
Mr Shamenda urged ZHRM to put in place mechanism to enforce the provision of the revised labour Act adding that for its part, government we will work closely with the institute to review the ZIRM
Act to strengthen the enforcement mechanism.
He also said the ZIHRM act no. 11 of 1997 was very critical in the development of the country and particularly in the improvement of productivity in all organizations in the country.
He said government would like to see that the productivity levels of Zambian workers are enhanced to match what was obtaining in other countries adding that ZHRM plays an important role in the training and development of human resources expected to meet the demands of business in the 21st Century.
“My government would like to see that the productivity level of Zambians are enhanced to match what is obtaining in other countries and as human resource personnel you must spearhead this objective through initiatives such as training and performance appraisals,” Mr Shamenda said.
He also said government banned non-Zambians from performing duties of human resources with the understanding that not only does the country have enough trained human resource personnel but also that human resource duties are better understood by Zambians who have an in-depth understanding of the local people and their cultural practices.
And ZHRM President Winner Kanyembo said the institute was facing a number of financial challenges to effectively carry out its operations such as conducting training workshops for human resources practitioners.
He explained that the institute had limited capacity to carry out inspections for compliance with the labour laws but added that the revision of the ZHRM act will help in enforcing compliance among
Mr Kanyembo also said ZHRM has embarked on a recruitment drive to ensure that all government human resources personnel were registered with institution as directed by the ministry of labour.
Mr Kanyembo further said the institute which currently has a total of 2,332 registered members will continue working with government to improve the labour market in the country.
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