Districts tipped on handling Labour cases

The Public Service Commission has cautioned local government authorities against dismissing their employees without following due processes.
Habiyakare (R), Muganza (L) and other officials during the discussions. (Stephen Rwembeho)
Habiyakare (R), Muganza (L) and other officials during the discussions. (Stephen Rwembeho)

The Public Service Commission has cautioned local government authorities against dismissing their employees without following due processes.

According to François Habiyakare, the chairperson of Public Service Commission, government is losing money through paying damages after being dragged to court for cases that can be avoided.

The Public Service Commission has cautioned local government authorities against dismissing their employees without following due processes.

According to François Habiyakare, the chairperson of Public Service Commission, government is losing money through paying damages after being dragged to court for cases that can be avoided.

Habiyakare issued the warning while addressing vice mayors from all the 30 districts, who had gathered in Rwamagana district for a consultative meeting to address the matter.

“We have had several cases, government lost Rwf50 million in Eastern Province districts in the last three years. It’s high time we ended such losses,” Habiyakare said.

“Some employees dismiss workers without their severance packages which contrary to the labour law. So when in court such cases are lost and government has to pay damages.”

Rwamagana cases cost Rwf42 million while those in Kayonza cost more than Rwf14 million.

The two districts rank first in illegal dismissal of workers.

However, some labour experts say there are some loopholes in the Law, which employees exploit.

Some articles are said to require reviewing so as to reduce the number of disputes, and ensure that the rights of the employees are not infringed upon while also protecting employers from having to pay unwarranted compensation.

Article 28, which requires employees on fixed-term contracts to be paid the full amount of the contract duration in case of termination is one of the contentious clauses.

The law gives a provision for gross misconduct, but it does not elaborate on what amounts to gross misconduct yet it goes ahead to limit the termination to “within 48 hours.”

According to the current labour law, any dismissal which is not done basing on the reasons provided for the law or resignation made before the expiry of a contract for in a determined period, compels the party that takes initiative of termination to pay an indemnity equivalent to the remuneration for the remaining contract period without prejudice to other compensation which may be paid.

Under Article 33, termination benefits should be disbursed in accordance with performance, professional qualification, time spent in the company and social responsibilities of the terminated worker.

Jean Marie Vianney Makombe, the executive secretary of Eastern Province, lamented the heavy losses, urging all districts to change their ways of work.

“The money paid is a lot. Imagine if the money was spent on schools or houses for the vulnerable. It hurts when the money is lost through negligence on what the law stipulates,” he said.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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