Employers’ association hails Chakwera for assenting to ‘controversial’ Labour Bill

Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM) has hailed President Lazarus Chakwera for assenting to the controversial Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill 2021 which limits the period for industrial action by employees to three days.

ECAM executive director, George Khaki, said government had taken the right step.

“We applaud the government for taking the right step,” Khaki said.

“The signing of these bills makes Malawi progressive in managing labour relations, especially with the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, and in terms of dealing with forced labour and child labour issues in relation to the Employment Amendment Act.”

Deputy Minister of Labour, Vera Kamtukule, confirmed to the media that she had “been informed by Parliament” that President Chakwera had given a nod to the Labour Bill.

The other bills that President Chakwera has assented to are Employment (Amendment), Constitution Amendment and Parliament Service.

Despite Chakwera assenting to the Bill, Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) has insisted that the Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill 2021 is an infringement of workers’ right to strike.

MCTU President, Charles Kumchenga, on Thursday expressed concern about the signing of the bills but said he needed to consult his team to give further details.

The Labour Bill attracted protest soon after it was passed in Parliament in July this year as local and international labour unions claimed that the bill was meant to limit the right to strike and punish workers.

International Trade Union Confederation and International Trade Union Confederation issued a statement denouncing the passing of the Labour and Employment (Amendment) Bill of 2021.

“We have serious concerns with the provisions that grant an employer the right to withhold wages as well as the provision in the Labour Relations Amendment Bill that arrogates exclusive power to the minister to determine essential services without due process and excludes the Tripartite Labour Advisory Council. We also have serious concerns about the amendments to the provisions of the Industrial Relations Court,” the statement reads.

But Sean Kampondeni, Executive Assistant to the President, said State House would issue a statement on President Chakwera’s signing of the Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill.

“We will make a statement,” Kampondeni said.

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Beje
Beje
1 month ago

The bill has taken Malawian employees back to Kamuzu era I regret I wasted my vote

Chilambowandu
Chilambowandu
1 month ago

Any policy that is established should aim at addressing a problem not creating another problem. The removal of Panelist, in my view, contradicts with the Constitution that stipulates the availability of the composition as at section 110. That is why IRC had the Chairperson since that authority had a group of people to Chair. Now as it stands Chairperson is irrelevant yet it is left unchanged. And it awkward to maintain that position as Chairperson. It is a known fact that Employers Association cannot speak for anything in the interest of employees. But they need to know that agrieved employees… Read more »

Moffat I
Moffat I
1 month ago

Malawi koma …this is taking the country backwards….

Phomu Diga
Phomu Diga
1 month ago

Remember we have few employers in this country. The workers who are also voters are in majority. Chizaone nchipande powomola

Banda
Banda
1 month ago

The Labour Bill Does Not limit the labour action to only 3 days. It requires only the Employer to pay wages for the First 3 days of a labour actions. Employees are free to continue the labour action until it can be resolved months or year’s.

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