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Spotlight on labour law reform

lebesa maloiLetuka Chafotsa

MASERU — Repeated failure to complete a review of labour law is constraining economic growth and stifling employment opportunities, the Sunday Express heard this week.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Lebesa Maloi, urged members of the National Advisory Committee on Labour (NACOLAR) to complete labour law review before end of the fiscal year.

In a speech to welcome newly appointed members of NACOLAR, Maloi said regular consultations among the three social partners comprising labour, business and government was important for effective social dialogue.

“The most important is to review the labour law which was completed in 2006 as most amendments on it are now irrelevant,” said Maloi.

He further said that there is a huge public outcry on non-completion of the draft law so it calls for an immediate address.

Lesotho Labour Council Secretary General, Paul Sematlane, who is a member of NACOLAR said the labour laws should be responsive to the current needs of the labour force.

“Those distortions constrained economic growth and fashioned a productive structure that was non-conducive to the use of labour,” said Sematlane.

“The elimination of such distortions would therefore lead to higher levels of employment and better wages, which would be of particular benefit to workers with relatively low levels of education,” he added.

Structural reforms in the labour market almost inevitably involve changes in employment protection legislation hence the flexibility or rigidity can have important consequences for economic growth and income inequality, said Sematlane.

“Given that few other structural reforms affect so many economic agents (governments, workers, firms, unions and consumers) simultaneously and in such a comprehensive manner, it is hardly surprising that labour reforms are implemented more slowly and less frequently than other reform,” he said.

Secretary General of Lesotho Congress of Democratic Unions (LECODU) Masoebe Mosesanyane said Lesotho has a labour lower class of unionised workers who are not paid well and are less protected.

“Along with an overwhelming mass of unorganised workers, many are unable in practice to even exercise legal rights. There is a need to review labour code of 1992,” said Mosesanyane.



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