New Labour Act Here to Stay

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By Desie Heita

Windhoek

High Court legal challenges and complaints from several employers, including the Namibia Employers Federation, would not stop the implementation of the new Labour Act.

“The fact that one section [of the Act] is the subject of a court proceeding will not prevent implementation of the Act. We are determined to set the Act into operation without much delay,” said Petrus Iilonga, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Services.

Africa Personnel Services, one of Namibia’s largest labour-hire companies, submitted an application to the High Court on January 7 to prevent the banning of labour hire companies in the new Labour Act. The company is challenging section 128 of the Act that outlaws labour hire companies.

May 1 was set for the implementation of the Act, but Government delayed the date to allow for the training of labour officials in the new laws.

“The conciliators and arbitrators have just finished their refresher-training course. Next week labour inspectors will equally go through a similar refresher course,” said Iilonga.

“Once all these are in place, we will speedily ensure the coming into force of the new Act,” Iilonga said.

The new Labour Act was promulgated into law in December last year, much to the dissatisfaction of employers.

The Namibia Employers Federation lodged complaints with the Government objecting to several provisions in the Act, besides the banning of labour hire companies, such as the number of leave days, saying additional leave days would lead to the loss of 1,6 million working days a year for Namibia.

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