The Highlights on The Employment Code Act, No. 3 of 2019

The Highlights on The Employment Code Act, No. 3 of 2019

1 THE HIGHLIGHTS ON THE EMPLOYMENT CODE ACT, NO. 3 OF 2019 BY THE MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL SECURITY 02/10/2020 2 Repeal and Replacement The Act has repealed and replaced the Acts, namely; the Employment Act of 1965, the

Employment (special provisions) Act of 1966, the Employment of Young Persons and Children Act of 1933 and the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act of 1982. The essence of repealing and replacing the aforementioned Acts was to ensure that a law be enacted to cure the lacunas that were in the said Acts and to suit the dynamics of the labour market. 02/10/2020 3 Application

The Act has exempted certain categories of people to whom it doesnt apply such as; persons in defence force, Zambia Police Service, Zambia Correctional Service, and persons in the Zambia Security Intelligence Service. To this, the minister has been conferred power to exempt any persons or class of people by Statutory Instrument, thus, after consultation with the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council, 02/10/2020 4

Discrimination Section 5 The Act has expressly provided for nondiscrimination against an employee on grounds of nationality, colour, religion, sex, among others, and this is meant to suit the provisions of Article 23 of the Constitution 02/10/2020 5 Casualization section 7 The Act has enhanced the provision on casualization by providing for what is meant by the term casualization and prescribing the

determining factors of such employment that is to be deemed as casualization. 02/10/2020 6 Priotisation of employment for citizens section 14 The Act seeks to empower the citizens by priotising them in terms of job opportunities. Jobs are not to be given to expatriates unless the employer can show that indeed there are no able

Zambians who can perform such or who are competent for such a job 02/10/2020 7 Governing law of contracts of employment section 15 All contracts of employment are to be governed by the provisions of the Act. further, the Act makes it mandatory for all contracts exceeding 6 months to be in writing and provides for what is to be contained therein

02/10/2020 8 Probation section 27 Previously there was no provision for probation in the law. The Act now provides that an employee may be employed for a probationary period, not exceeding three (3) months, for the purpose of determining that employees suitability for appointment. An employer who does not notify the employee, in writing, of the confirmation, the

employee shall be confirmed in the position from the date of expiry of the probation period. 02/10/2020 9 Security in certain contracts of employment section 30 The Act has provided that an authorised officer may, before attesting a contract of employment outside the Republic, require an employer or an employment Agency to give security by bond, and provide a surety resident within the Republic as approved by an authorised officer. The bond shall provide for the due performance of the contract by the

employer on the terms that an authorised officer may consider reasonable, or in lieu of that bond, an authorised officer may require the employer to deposit in cash the sum that the officer may consider necessary to guarantee the performance . The money recovered under a bond will be applied by an authorised officer in or towards satisfaction of a claim of an employee employed under that contract of employment and any balance remaining after the satisfaction of that claim shall be paid to the employer. 02/10/2020 10 Sick leave and Medical discharge section 38

previously this provision was only in the schedule to the minimum wages and conditions of employment Act which meant that it never applied to other categories except the protected employees then. An employee on short term contract shall be paid a full pay for 26 working days and half pay for another 26 days of the sick leave. Those on long-term contracts shall be full pay for the first three months and half pay for the next three months of the sick leave. Where one is discharged medically, they shall be entitled to not less than 3 months basic pay for each completed year of service

02/10/2020 11 Family Responsibility leave 40 Section The Act has provided for family responsibility for an employee who has worked for a period of six months or more, of leave of absence with pay for a period not exceeding seven (7) days in a calendar year to enable the employee nurse a sick spouse, child or dependent upon production of a medical

certificate. 02/10/2020 12 Maternity Leave section 41 The Act has increased the period of maternity leave from 12 weeks to 14 weeks to be taken immediately after delivery. The employee may apply to the employer for an extension of the said leave. Further, a female employee shall not forfeit that employees annual leave entitlement because of having taken maternity leave.

On expiry of the maternity leave, the employee shall return to the job which the employee held immediately before the maternity leave or to a reasonably suitable job on terms and conditions not less favourable than those which applied to the employee before the maternity leave. 02/10/2020 13 Nursing breaks section 45 The Act provides for nursing breaks for breastfeeding mothers. The entitlement is 2

nursing breaks of 30 minutes each and/or 1 hour pay day. Such time spent as nursing break shall not be deducted from the pay. Further, the Act also provides for Paternity leave which entitles a male employee to 5 continuous working days off duty after the birth of his child. 02/10/2020 14 Forced Leave section 48 The Act has provided that an employer shall, where the employer sends an employee on

forced leave, pay the employee basic pay during the period of the forced leave. 02/10/2020 15 Severance Pay section 54 An employer is obliged to pay a severance package to an employee whose contract has been either terminated or upon expiration of his/her contract. Such payment shall be done in the following manner: Where an employee is medically discharged, Where a contract of employment is for a fixed duration, a severance pay shall either be a gratuity of not less than 25% earned during the

contract period or retirement benefits provided for by the relevant social security scheme, Where termination is by reason of redundancy, the severance pay shall be a lump-sum of 2 months basic pay for each year of service under the said employment. The aforementioned entitlement shall be same as for those who die whilst serving under the contract of employment. Note that the severance pay shall not extend to casual and temporal employees, those on probationary and long-term employment. Further, the minister shall prescribe the formula for the severance pay. 02/10/2020 16

Termination by Redundancy section 55 Previously such termination was put under oral contracts and those on written contracts were not covered which meant that in case of such termination they would not be entitled to benefits that fall thereunder. The Act has finally made it applicable even to employees on contracts. Further, an employer who is unable to pay redundancy package due to financial incapacity may apply to the Labour Commissioner for exemption from paying a lump sum. Where an employer wants to engage employees within 9 months of such redundancy occurrence, they must return the redundant employees before considering new applicants,

02/10/2020 17 The Skills Advisory Committee section 63 The Act has constituted a skills advisory committee whose purpose is to advise the minister on measures necessary to ensure that; citizens are accorded priority in respect of opportunities for employment. Certain categories of employment are restricted to citizens in the interest of state security, citizens are accorded the same wages as an expatriate for

work of equal value, among others. 02/10/2020 18 Gratuity section 73 The Act has provided for gratuity payable at the end of a long-term contract of not less than 25% basic pay earned during the contract period. Further, were employment is terminated before the end/ expiration of contract, gratuity payable is prorated. 02/10/2020

19 Health breaks section 77 Every employee is entitled to a health break of at least 20 minutes or two health breaks of 10 minutes each, thus, in addition to a 1 hour meal break. 02/10/2020 20 Employment of young children and young persons Part V

A person shall not employ a child in a public or private industrial undertaking. A child may be engaged for purposes of education but should not be work that would be prejudicial to childs attendance at an institution of learning, participation in vocational orientation or training approved by a competent authority or childs capacity to benefit from an institution, 02/10/2020 21 Minimum wages and conditions

of employment Division 7.3 Section 99 has further provided for the constitution of the Labour Advisory Committee which is an ad hoc committee of the TCLC The Minister in consultation with the Labour Advisory Committee may issue a statutory instrument prescribing the minimum standards and conditions of employment for certain categories of employees. Such reviews are to be made by the committee which shall recommend to the Minister the minimum wages and conditions of employment, 02/10/2020 22

Employment agencies Part VIII The Act has spelled out the requirements for one to apply for employment agency, the procedure, the conferred power to the Labour Commissioner to issue or deny issuance of such licence, validity of permit, suspension and renewal of such permit, 02/10/2020 23 Inspectorate Part X

The Act constitutes the inspectorate who are mandated to ensure that the provisions of this Act are adhered to/ compliance thereof. 02/10/2020 24 Application of more favourable conditions of employment Section 127 where a contract of employment, the Act or collective agreement has better conditions than any of the aforementioned, such document shall prevail over the rest.

In other words, if the Act has better conditions than a collective agreement or contract of employment, its provisions shall prevail over the agreement(s). This also happens vice versa. 02/10/2020 25 THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!!! 02/10/2020

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