The Zimbabwe Nurses Association (ZINA) has advised its members to and revert back to the flexible working hour arrangement, with immediate effect.
This comes after High Court judge Justice Martin Mafusire on Friday set aside the directive by the Ministry of Health and Child Care purporting to remove the flexible working hour system. In a circular to its members yesterday, ZINA said:
Today, the 20 of November 2020, Justice Mafusire gave his judgment on the urgent chamber application filed by ZINA on the unilateral removal of the flexible working hour arrangement. We forward herewith the judgment for your information.
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You will remember that our urgent application was that pending our main challenge on the directive, i.e. the application to declare the directive unlawful, we had done an urgent chamber application to stop the implementation of that same directive as it may be found to be unlawful.
Thus, after analysing the facts for 13 pages, the Honourable Judge ends by saying: “Pending the finalisation by this court of the application for a declaratory order in the case under reference No HC 6479/2020, the respondents are hereby barred from implementing the directive by the third respondent on 19 October 2020 which called upon nurses to resume with immediate effect the normal 40 working hours per week.”
Put simply, this means that the directive by the Permanent Secretary purporting to remove the flexible working hour system has been set aside by the court until the application to declare that directive unlawful is determined by the court, probably next year.
Further, it means that anything Implemented in pursuance of that directive, including suspensions, disciplinary charges, removal from the payroll and asking nurses to resume the normal working hours must also fall away.
We expect our employer to forthwith revoke all suspension letters and pay members their salaries and bonuses which have been withheld on the basis that nurses did not comply with the order that has been set aside.
Therefore, with immediate effect, all nurses are advised to abandon the normal working hour arrangement and revert back to the flexible working hour arrangement which was in place prior to the 26th of October 2020.
This is by force of law and if our employer refuses to recognise this, they will be in contempt of a court order.
Zimbabwe Nurses Association