The African Regional Labour Administration Centre (ARLAC) is holding a four-day tripartite workshop on promoting decent work for workers in the informal sector.
Officially launching the workshop at the ARLAC center in Harare today, the Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, Dr Wilson Kaerezi said the provision of decent work in Africa should be prioritised as the sub-Saharan Africa has full of underpaid, manual and non-formal work.
“Decent work is an asset for all countries and regions in the world. Investing in decent work is not only a commitment to fairness and justice but also to development,” he said.
The World Employment and Social Outlook 2015 states that wage and salaried employment accounts for only about 50 percent of global employment.
Ms Duduzile Simangele Dlamini, who is representing the Employers Confederation in Swaziland, said non-formal work presents a challenge for governments but a multi-sectoral approach is required to provide protection to informal sector workers.
“African countries are mired by millions of workers who lack medical cover, pensions and social benefits. It is very important to cater for them,” Ms Dlamini said.
The National Coordinator for the Informal Sectors Workers in the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU), Mr Elijar Mutemeri weighed in by applauding the government of Zimbabwe for committing to formalise the sector.
“The position taken by the government of Zimbabwe in 2015 to establish social schemes for workers in the informal will go a long way in providing decent work,” he said.
The workshop, which runs up to Thursday, is being attended by representatives from several African countries including Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia, Namibia and Eswatini, formerly Swaziland.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean government says it is fully committed to the promotion, protection and fulfillment of the rights of domestic workers both local and migrant.
This came out at the launch of domestic workers handbook held in Harare today.
Due to various challenges facing the domestic workers that include long working hours, low salaries and human trafficking, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare launched the domestic workers handbook that provides protection to the workforce.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Mr Ngoni Masoka said the purpose of the domestic workers handbook is to promote the employment rights and conditions of service for domestic workers.
“Domestic workers are equal to other employees, so there is need for their protection,” he said.
The constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act of 2013 and the Labour Act chapter 28:01 promotes the equality of employees.