Zimbabwe urges employers to safeguard workers’ rights during COVID-19 lockdown

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FILE PHOTO: People queue to shop ahead of a nationwide 21-day lockdown called by the government to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: People queue to shop ahead of a nationwide 21-day lockdown called by the government to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Harare, Zimbabwe, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo/File Photo

The Zimbabwe government urged employers to uphold fair labor standards, as some companies have started slashing salaries and sending employees on unforced leave during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima issued a statement Sunday saying that employers should refrain from imposing unpaid leave measures, retrenchments and unfair terminations.

“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 should be utilized for this purpose,” he said.

He also urged employers to create mechanisms that allow workers to work from home and leverage on technology.

Mavima said a draft paper on comprehensive labor market measures for COVID-19 had been drafted and was subjected to virtual consultations, given the limitations to convene face-to-face meetings in line with the guidelines issued by health authorities.

Zimbabwe has been under lockdown since March 30.

The country’s number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 14 after one more person tested positive to the virus, the Ministry of Health and Child Care announced Sunday morning.

 

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