Query: The author complained about the process and undue delays in handling labour cases at the ministry.
Response: The process of lodging a case starts with the submission of the prescribed Referral of Dispute Form LC 21, accompanied by a Summary of Dispute (write-up of what happened) and Proof of Service – Form LG 36). After the referral documents are screened by the Labour Commissioner, a conciliator/arbitrator is designated a particular case, depending on the type of dispute (i.e. dispute of right or dispute of interest). A notice of not less than 14 days for the first hearing of the dispute is then issued. The designated conciliator/arbitrator may resolve the case in 30 days (if possible) or longer as agreed by both parties. If an arbitrator is appointed for a dispute of right, he/she must first try through conciliation to resolve the dispute. If not resolved, then the proceeding continues as an arbitration tribunal with the arbitrator required to issue an award in 30 days after the tribunal proceedings have closed. The award is binding and becomes a court order if filed by the affected party or by the Labour Commissioner with the Labour Court. The award can be enforced through labour inspectors by completing Form LS 30. An arbitration award can be appealed against or reviewed by the Labour Court. If the conciliator cannot resolve the dispute of interest, a Certificate of Unresolved Issues is then issued to the parties. The parties may opt for an industrial action (protected strike or lock-out) or any other lawful action.
Query: Minister of Labour, tell us how much a security guard is supposed to earn per hour? We, the security guards of 24/7 at Otjiwarongo, are paid N$700 per month. We work from Monday to Saturday, from 07h00 to 17h00 without a lunch break.
Response: As per Article 9 of the Government Gazette on the Collective Agreement for the Security Industry that was agreed in December 2014, the minimum wage for entry level for security officers must be as follows:
• the minimum wage for the entry level of security officers shall be N$5.30 per hour effective from 1 August 2014;
• the current security guards on N$5.00 per hour will be adjusted to N$6.75 per hour from 1 August 2014;
• the current minimum wage shall be automatically adjusted from N$5.30 per hour to N$6.75 per hour effective from 1 August 2015;
• there shall be an automatic adjustment of the current agreed N$6.75 to N$7.00 for security guards at that level effective from 1 August 2015;
• the shift bonus falls off and is replaced with adherence to the provisions of the Labour Act (Act No: 11 of 2007) in relation to payment of overtime (section 17) night work (section 19), work on Sundays (section 21) and public holidays as required by the Act.
This collective agreement was entered into by and between the Security Association of Namibia; Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union; Namibia Security Guards and Watchmen’s Union and Namibia Independent Security Union and facilitated by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation.
• Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org