Query: What is the role of the Ministry of Labour? Are they supposed to act like the middleman during a dispute or are they there to give advice to the company during a labour dispute? I am asking this because during the meeting we attended it appeared as if the representative from the labour ministry was siding with the company.
Response: The role of the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation is to ensure effective labour relations between employers and employees. This Ministry provides advice to both parties and mediates in an event of labour complaints. Depending on the type of dispute registered, a conciliator or arbitrator will be appointed by the Labour Commissioner, to deal with the dispute accordingly. The role of the conciliator is to assist the parties to reach a settlement on their own voluntarily, while an arbitrator decides on the outcome of the case. The arbitrator, based on facts and evidence of the case, makes a final and binding decision. Notwithstanding, in none of the proceedings does an official need to be biased.
The officials act as referees but always does a losing party blame the referee.
• Ms Maria N. Hedimbi, Chief Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Email Address: email@example.com