Suspend employment act, PSDA urges govt

IMPLEMENTATION of the 2020 employment code expected to take effect next month should be suspended until further notice as current conditions such as the expected global and domestic economic recession.
Current economic conditions spurred by the COVID-19 are not suitable to implement the new employment code, says Private Sector Development Association (PSDA) Chairperson, Yusuf Dodia.
Mr Dodia warned in an interview that many businesses are going to collapse if the code was implemented and companies followed it diligently.
“I am for the idea that it should be suspended until further notice because of the current conditions. We are expected to go into recession, both at global and domestic level.
“I think that we are going to a recession as an economy and it is very important that we are able to ensure that we help employers to keep employees in employment,” he said.
Mr Dodia complained that there were a lot of things in the code which were going to be difficult for employers to deliver.
He stated that most businesses could not survive if the code was implemented as scheduled.
“We are running an economy now where if an employer is not productive then the economy is going to collapse and what we see in the employment code are just rules that bond employers to deliver a lot of benefits to the staff without the staff having to commit themselves to delivering to the employer,” he said.
Mr Dodia said many companies would lay off staff and opt to use machinery, a situation which would increase unemployment figures in Zambia.
He said businesses could not pay workers more money than they were making.
What is important, he said, was to see profitable businesses running to justify paying higher salaries to the employers.
Mr Dodia however acknowledge the need to improve working conditions for employees.
He said: “There is this whole transition from contractual employment to permanent and pensions and if we keep our staff on contract the gratuity is 25 percent which is 10 percent higher than the gratuities being paid now.”


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