Challenges of labour laws for past 10 years
The current labour regime started its course in 2004 when the new legislations of labour laws were enacted by the Parliament of URT. The major laws were The Employment and Labour Relations Act, No.6 of 2004 and The Labour Institutions Act, No.7 of 2004. It took about three years of preparation of the institutions to put the laws in operation. The use and application of the new labour regime took on its wheels in 2007 when the relevant machinery for its application was put into place. Hence it has been a decade now since the current labour regime has been in practice. Various lessons have been learned for employers who took up the challenges but for those who ignored the new labour laws, have experienced a lot of pit holes.
The impacts of the new labour regime to the employer are as follows:
- More awareness of the number of employees regarding labour laws compliance;
- Strikes and various demonstration from workers;
- The increase of number of labour disputes registered at CMA and the Labour Court;
- The increase of involvement of Trade Unions at work place;
- Increased interventions from the government forcing employers to comply to labour laws.
These challenges and many others have been, to a large extent, detrimental to many Employers than to the Employees. It is a fact that though the laws have been in place for the past ten years of its application, still a great number of Employers commit the same mistakes and found themselves faced with the same penalties in one after another of the labour issues.
Challenges of Employers
- Lack of knowledge on the development of labour relations in the labour regime. Most of the employers once employs an employee never bother to know what is happening in labour world until the labour problems lands at the workplace. As we all know the law is not static, same applies to the application and interpretation of the labour laws before decision making bodies it evolves simultaneously.
- Lack of skills regarding the operation of the labour laws and their role in working environment. Personnel or the executive officers who deal with employment matters lack proper knowledge and skills regarding current labour laws and practices applicable to their daily activities.
- Devoid of the proper advice on how to handle labour issues with the employee at work place before the matter has reached to the referral organs. This has been one of the big challenges as Employers who are acting without advice or rely on advice from a source that has little or no experience with labour issues.
As an institution TAACIME decided to carry out a study on what promts the number of referred labour disputes to CMA and Labour Court for the past 10 years. This is what we found after make a study of 1,000 case laws.
- 97% of the disputes referred to CMA were referred by the Employees
- 95% of the referred disputes are challenging termination of employment
- 90% of the decided disputes ended in favour of the Employees
These findings made us to go further with our study to find out the reason for such result. As we all know the Employers have economic muscle and can afford best lawyers but why still the rate of losing the case is very high over 90%
We came to realise that
- Losing the cases at CMA or LC has nothing to do with competence of the lawyers handling the disputes at respective authorities
- There are number of factors ‘common mistakes’ at workplace that contribute to bad end result in any dispute
As TAACIME we came with solution of finding there are common mistakes and grouped them in 6 areas and the percentage of contribution to Employers problems before trial.
- Common Mistakes on Engagement – 20%
- Common Mistakes on Administration – 18%
- Common Mistakes on employee’s conduct – 14%
- Common Mistakes on reasons to terminate – 18%
- Common Procedure on termination mistakes – 20%
- Common Mistakes on penalties – 10%
Therefore, in this series of articles, we will be sharing these ‘common mistakes’ of employers in these categories that contributes to the failure of employers in labour disputes at the rate of more than 90% of disputes referred to the CMA or Labour Court.
Learning these mistakes will equip employers with both knowledge and skills on how to avoid shortcoming in dealing with labour issues at workplace and hence enable employer to concentrate with production and giving value to the market rather than being occupied with dispute resolution.
Isaack Zake, Esq.
Isaack Zake an Advocate of the High Court of Tanzania, he is passionate in pursuing matters in relation to labour and Human Resource Management and has been labour lawyer practitioner at various areas of practice such as FIBUCA Trade Union, Commission for Mediation and Arbitration, Labour Court of Tanzania and Labour Office at the Ministry of the Labour Affairs. Mr. Isaack is also a founder of www.ulizasheria.co.tz a blog that offers legal education to the public but also specifically to the labour stakeholders who has been able to publish more than 100 articles relating to labour laws in Swahili.
Mr. Zake is also working with the legal team of Tanzania Association of Agriculture, Commerce, Industry and Mining Employers (TAACIME) an Employer’s Association. You are all welcome to join TAACIME for advocating employer(s) rights.
Please join the forum for questions and advice and to receive more information on labour matters by enlisting your contacts at email@example.com or call 0713 888 040.
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Also you can Join TAACIME and be part of large group of employers who are equipped with knowledge and proper skills in labour laws. Visit our website for more information www.taacime.co.tz or e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org