GASABO - The Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA), early this week held a consultative meeting with employers and workers’ representatives to share ideas on the new labour code.
The meeting which took place at Hotel La Pallisse Nyandungu, aimed at getting views from all stakeholders and to also discuss observations made by the World Bank (IFC).
“The existing labour code had many irregularities which did not match with the 2003 Rwanda constitution and the international labour convention. So our aim in drafting a new labour code was to come up with a new and flexible code which brings together all these aspects,” said minister Anastase Murekezi.
According to him, the new labour code which will be effective by May 2009 will also see more improvements in laws concerning maternity leave, annual workers leave, death benefits and the law on contracts.
“We want labour which can develop Rwanda faster even though we are in difficult times where the world economy is facing huddles, we shall meet our goals through developing the small scale investments and the large scale investments as well. So our new labour code must be in line with the country’s goals and this will be shown in the good index which will not exceed two figures by 2010,” said Murekezi.
In the World Bank comments, they try to advise on some issues in the draft code such as the access to credit which is the 146th article of the draft. This article grants super privileges to employees in the event of a company’s bankruptcy or judicial liquidation.
According to World Bank, subordinating secured creditors’ claims to those of employees could have a negative impact on enterprises’ ability to obtain credit. The document continues that eliminating this article would help increase the availability of loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and encourage growth.
“Today we are going to discuss these comments from the World Bank on this draft and see if we can get some of the good advice and add them in our draft but we also have to consider the problems of our country while discussing and putting conclusions on what should be put in the final draft,” the minister told The New Times.
This meeting is supposed to be the last one after many months of discussions between the government, employees and the employers before the final draft is presented to parliament in January.