By Scoop Reporter
SOCIOECONOMIC challenges facing the country are compounded with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president Nkole Chishimba has said.
Speaking when he opened a 2021 pre-budget consultative seminar in Chisamba this morning, Mr. Chishimba said despite the health challenges, it is true that the pandemic has had a devastating effect on the welfare of the majority of Zambians, and workers in particular.
He says it is for this reason, that through the tripartite consultative labour council, Government issued the statutory instrument No. 48 to exempt some employers from some provisions of the employment code act No.3 of 2019.
“Some of the exemptions include provisions relating to annual leave, forced leave, and gratuity payment. I wish to state that it is not in the interest of the labour movement that such entitlements are taken away from workers.
“However, the circumstances demand that we have to protect the jobs of our brothers and sisters in the sectors that have heavily been affected by the measures instituted to mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” Mr. Chishimba said.
“We are equally concerned that even some economic measures towards mitigating the impact of covid-19 have not reached the majority of workers. For example, some measures such as the waiver of tax penalties, easing liquidity, and the medium-term refinancing facility of k10 billion had little impact on the workers especially workers in the informal economy.
“As representatives of workers, we are very concerned about the current economic challenges which have been made worse by the covid-19 pandemic,” he said.