By ROGERS KALERO
EMPLOYERS should not take advantage of the Covid-19 outbreak to disregard labour laws and mistreat their employees, Labour and Social Security Minister Joyce Simukoko has warned.
Ms Simukoko said labour laws were still in place and no employer should use short-cuts in dealing with employees in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said this yesterday after visiting Non-Ferrous Mining Company of Africa (NFCA) in Chambishi to check on the conditions in which the quarantined workers were living.
Ms Simukoko was with Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa and Copperbelt Ministert Japhen Mwakalombe.
She said any employer who was not sure or ignorant about Zambian labour laws should seek guidance from the Labour Office
Ms Simukoko also advised management at the Chinese-owned mining company to respect the Zambians and their culture.
“We also have a culture which we respect and so we expect respect from you as Zambians and also respect for our culture,” she added.
And during the tour of the quarantine quarters, Ms Simukoko was impressed with the conditions in which workers were living and urged them to follow the guidelines.
She said quarantining them was not punishment, but was the best way of fighting the spread of Covid-19.
And NFCA human resources manager, Rebecca Chanda, said the process of quarantining was done with the involvement of all the stakeholders like the unions, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour.
Ms Chanda said the company has about 800 direct workers and more than 1, 000 workers of contractors on quarantine.
She said no worker was forced to go on quarantine, but that they did it willingly.
By ROGERS KALERO