Namibia enjoys stable industrial relations - Sioka

09 Feb 2015 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 09 FEB (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare says there was a noted improvement in industrial relations countrywide in 2014, when compared to previous years.
Labour and Social Welfare Minister Doreen Sioka said on Friday during the ministry’s first general staff meeting for the year 2015 that the improvement in industrial relations was made possible largely by the number of interventions which her ministry put in place, with the support of partners such as trade union organisations and the employers’ federations.
The minister said the minimum wage for domestic workers, which was introduced on 17 December last year, is expected to come into effect from 01 April this year.
“These newly-introduced minimum wages for domestic workers are contained in a Wage Order report setting out the minimum conditions of employment for domestic workers in Namibia.
The Wage Order will be supported by the full force of the law, and it will be enforceable in the same manner as the basic conditions of employment included in the Labour Act,” she noted.
Some of the minimum wage agreements which have assisted in stabilising industrial relations in the country were those which have also been signed in sectors such as fuel, security and construction.
These minimum wage agreements were signed by employers’ and employees’ representatives in recent years, and the negotiation processes for such signings were facilitated by her ministry.
Sioka thus called on labour inspectors to ensure compliance with the Wage Order, once it is in force.
From April this year, domestic workers will earn no less than N.dollars 7.02 per hour, which translates into N.dollars 56.21 per day or N.dollars 281.09 per week.
From the implementation date, domestic workers will thus not earn less than N.dollars 1 218 per month.
If domestic employees work longer than the hours they are supposed to, they will be paid N.dollars 10.53 per hour during weekdays, and N.dollars 14.04 per hour on Sundays or public holidays.
The minister also took the opportunity to highlight some of the achievements which her ministry attained over the years.
Some of these include the launch of the National Employment Policy in 2013, which also saw the formation of a National Employment Policy Implementation Committee.
“I urge the committee to work in the best interest of the Namibian people in order to achieve their mandate,” said the minister.
Namibia also adopted the alternative dispute- resolution mechanism system in 2007, which is administered by the Office of the Labour Commissioner, and it has recorded a positive settlement rate of disputes through arbitration.