The government has warned employers against sending workers on unpaid leave, retrenchments and unfairly terminating employees’ contracts during the 21-day national lockdown.
Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Paul Mavima, in a statement on Friday, urged all employers to uphold fair labour standards as enshrined in Section 65 of the Zimbabwe Constitution and as provided in Section 2A of the Labour Act (Chapter28:01). He said:
All employers are therefore urged to refrain from imposing unpaid leave measures, retrenchments and unfair terminations on workers during the lockdown period. Use of unpaid leave during the lockdown period should only be considered through mutual agreements.
The national lockdown was imposed on March 30 to control the spread of COVID-19, a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Meanwhile, a number of companies especially players in the hospitality and tourism industry are alleged to have terminated and imposed unpaid leave days to their employees.
For instance, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed fast-foods concern Simbisa Brands recently announced that it was laying off contract workers, among other cost-cutting measures to mitigate the negative impact of the coronavirus.