Labour Amendment Bill brings hope to women

By Fungai  Jachi

The proposed amendment of the Labour Act has been welcomed as a step in the right direction for career women as it will close gaps in maternity pay while also compelling employers to pay men and women equally.

Over the past decade, Zimbabwe’s Labour laws have been evolving in line with international best practice and the Labour Amendment Bill of 2021 that is now before Parliament is expected to close existing gaps.

 Speaking to ZBC News Labour Consultant and Lawyer, Mr Eliah Zvimba said the new law will protect women against unfair labour practices.

“Every female employee will be able to enjoy material leave irrespective of the period of service to an employer. This empowers women to exercise freedom and rights to pregnancy because there will be no restrictions. It takes two to tango so it was unfair that woman had to be punished for falling pregnant. So, this is a plus for the government in its quest for equality employment,” he said.

Children will also be protected against child labour which is common in farming areas.

“The increase in the penalty of those who practice child labour is a good move because it would deter would be offenders and protect children against abuse. There has to be proper enforcement of this law when it is passed as we expect a visit to farms and other industries so that there is intolerance of child labour,” he added.

The proposed law will also ensure that employers pay retrenchment packages to their employees and ensure that labour disputes and retrenchment processes are concluded with speed.