Employers say there is no need to pay retrenchment packages for workers they lay off because they enjoy other benefits such as pensions and gratuities.
The Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ) wants a Labour Amendment Act passed last year to be further amended to remove a provision that requires employers to pay retrenchment packages.
EMCOZ representatives appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare on Monday where they savaged the Labour Amendment Act for seeking to protect the rights of workers while “ignoring the rights of employers”.
EMCOZ senior vice president Mr Callisto Jokonya said they were challenging the constitutionality of the Labour Amendment Act in the courts for demanding that employers pay retrenchment packages to employees at a rate of two weeks’ salary for every year served.
“The most difficult law that we have in this country is the labour law,” said Mr Jokonya.
“To me, it encouragers laziness, it moves away accountability and it penalises the company or the investor. If an employee is no longer performing and delivering the results, the best is that we disagree and part ways.
“There are areas which as investors (business), we totally disagree with and that is retrenchment. I don’t understand where it comes from. When I employ you, we agree on the terms of the job. We never agree on the terms of retrenchment. That is not part of it.”
Mr Jokonya said demanding that employers pay retrenchment was going outside the contract and making it difficult for business to survive.