Labour Law Advocacy Campaign launched by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Social Partners
On Friday 22nd May, 2015, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) hosted a media launch for the "Labour Law Advocacy Campaign" to raise awareness of the relation between labour law adherence and business performance.
The high level event, which took place at Hotel Intercontinental in Lusaka, was officiated by the Minister of Labour, Hon. Fackson Shamenda who formally launched the Advocacy Campaign, which promotes the uptake of labour law among Micro- Small-, Medium Enterprises in the construction sector. The Campaign is the result of a close cooperation between the Norwegian-funded Law-Growth Nexus II (LGN II) Closure Project, Ministry of Labour and Social Security and employers' and workers' organisations at the national and construction sector level; as well as other stakeholders in the industry. As part of the initiative, "A Guide to the Labour Law for MSMEs in Construction" booklet has been developed and representatives from the construction sector associations as well as officers of the Ministry have received training in labour law advocacy to convene Awareness Meetings across the country. Significantly, the Campaign adopts a novel approach to promoting labour laws by emphasising the benefits to a business of complying with labour laws, rather than the penalties for failure to comply. A total of 200 MSMEs are targeted to be reached.
Also in attendance at the Media Launch were the Norwegian Ambassador, H.E. Mr Ave Ofstad; the ZFE President, Mr Bruno Chisambo; National Council for Construction Executive Director, Engineer Charles Mushota; and the Deputy Secretary General for ZCTU, all of whom gave remarks at the event.
The high-level speakers expressed their shared optimism that the Advocacy Campaign would spur appreciation among employers on the need and benefits to the business of complying with labour laws. A consensus was articulated on the requisite of a balanced approach in the setting, revision, promotion and enforcement of minimum labour standards in the country. In particular, there was a collective agreement that workers and employers alike should appreciate both parties' respective responsibilities and privileges emanating from the labour laws. And finally, the speakers all acknowledged in one way or another that whilst labour laws should continue to protect the rights of workers, they should not serve to stifle enterprise growth, particularly for MSMEs.