Query: “Labour inspectors, why are you not doing your work properly, especially in Kavango East where we want you to visit our workplaces? You’re not solving any of our problems. What are you doing in your offices? We’re working from Sunday to Sunday, but when it comes to payment it’s nothing at all.” – The Namibian, 29 March 2016
Response: The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation values public observations and opinions. It is however very unfortunate that the author generalised his/her statement to all the labour inspectors in the Kavango East Region. Some labour inspectors are doing their jobs accordingly. Workplace inspections form part of the core mandate that labour inspectors are expected to perform on a daily basis. It is for this reason that labour inspectors work according to a work plan, which unfortunately cannot cover the entire country/region at the same time. Their absence at one place means that they are busy at another place. The ministry therefore would like to appeal to the author to inform it where s/he is working, so that inspectors can contact him/her for targeted inspections and establish whether the employer complies with the provision of the Labour Act (Act 11 of 2007).
Query: I am worried about the catering services at mines. Namibians are fighting against unemployment but government allows those mines to use people to work on contract for up to two years to cater at mines. After that, they leave us jobless and send us back to the streets.
Response: The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation understands the concerns of the worker. The Labour Act (Act 11 of 2007) does not prescribe the duration of contract of employment. Labour Amendment Act (Act 2 of 2012) prohibits casualization of employment on an unreasonable continuous basis. Some employment is of a seasonal nature and therefore intermittent contracts are inevitable. In any case, the employer must justify the reasons for short-term contracts in face of the challenges thereof.
- Maria N. Hedimbi, the Chief Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org