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Forcing workers to take leave is illegal

Forcing workers to take leave is illegal

Niël Terblanché

EMPLOYERS across all sectors of the Namibian economy have the responsibility of paying the salaries of the workers for March and April during the disruption of their operations as a result of the stringent measures implemented by government to combat the further spread of the coronavirus.


The Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation held an emergency meeting with employers and the representatives of workers after it emerged that some employees were forced to take annual leave or to go on unpaid leave while restrictive measures are in effect.


In a press statement, Bro Matthew Shinguadja, the labour ministry’s Executive Director, cautioned employers to avoid such practices at all cost.


Namibian economy workers salaries workers March April
SECURE JOBS: Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, the Executive Director of the labour ministry. – Photo: File


“Forced unpaid leave is illegal and hence unacceptable,” Shinguadja stated.


Shinguadja, however, noted that with regards to the lockdown of the Khomas and Erongo regions, both employers and their employees should ensure maximum compliance with the precautionary measures at the workplace.


The precautionary measures include businesses closing at 18:00, employees not going to work for over two weeks and residents of the two regions have been ordered to stay indoor unless for essential services, until next month.


The urgent tripartite meeting took place earlier this week and focused on harmonious labour relations, ensuring job security and business sustainability during this critical period.