Govt re­cruits staff for Labour Court

Sunday Express - - Business Journal -

THE Min­is­ter of Labour and Em­ploy­ment, Keketso Ran­tšo says her min­istry is in the process of re­cruit­ing two deputy pres­i­dents of the Labour Court to en­sure an ef­fi­cient and speedy dis­pute res­o­lu­tion of labour dis­putes.

Speak­ing at a re­cent me­dia brief­ing in Maseru, Ms Ran­tšo said the min­istry is aware that after the death of the-then Labour Court Pres­i­dent, Le­beko Lethobane in 2012, he was not re­placed, caus­ing a huge back­log of un­re­solved cases.

“It is there­fore my wish to see the re­cruit­ment of the two deputies fi­nalised be­fore end of the year while we look at other ways to fur­ther boost the ca­pac­ity of the court in deal­ing with cases in time and ef­fi­ciently,” Ms Ran­tšo said.

She said other mech­a­nisms will in­clude look­ing at fur­ther re­cruit­ments in 2018, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that even be­fore the death of Mr Lethobane, the Labour Court was al­ready strug­gling to cope with the high de­mand of its ser­vices.

Es­tab­lished as a spe­cialised court, the Labour Court is meant to re­solve em­ploy­ment re­lated dis­putes be­tween em­ploy­ers and work­ers.

The dis­putes in­clude: un­fair dis­missals, un­fair labour prac­tices claims, work­men’s com­pen­sa­tion claims, Direc­torate of Dis­pute Pre­ven­tion and Res­o­lu­tion (DDPR) awards as well as ap­peals from the Public Ser­vice Tri­bunal.

Cur­rently, the court is not fully op­er­a­tional due to an acute staff short­age, with ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tions not be­ing ac­cepted.

“The Labour Court pro­vides es­sen­tial ser­vices, which if ne­glected, im­pacts neg­a­tively on the self-es­teem of ag­grieved par­ties, their house­holds’ well­be­ing and the econ­omy at large.

“Both em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers should know there is an ef­fi­cient and im­par­tial in­sti­tu­tion where they can seek so­lu­tions or me­di­a­tion when there is a mis­un­der­stand­ing.

“Fail­ure to pro­vide such ser­vices would mean vul­ner­a­bil­ity par­tic­u­larly on the part of the em­ploy­ees. The need to strengthen the abil­ity of the Labour Court to de­liver qual­ity ser­vices on time, is a pri­or­ity area for this min­istry,” Ms Ran­tšo said.

She said the re­cruit­ment of the two deputies is the min­istry’s first step to- wards im­prov­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery at the Labour Court.

The min­istry’s Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary, ‘Ma­sei­thati Ma­be­leng, said the process of hir­ing the two deputies was at an ad- vanced stage.

“The min­is­ter had pushed for an even ear­lier date but what de­layed us was that the re­cruit­ment process had to be re-done after we failed to find suit­able can­di­dates at the first at­tempt.

“The stan­dard re­quire­ments are very high be­cause we have to en­sure that we re­cruit the right peo­ple for the job which is also de­mand­ing,” Ms Ma­be­leng said.

For her part, Pres­i­dent of the Labour Court, Male­bona Khabo, said the re­cruit­ment of staff would go a long way in ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges they have ex­pe­ri­enced for a long time.

For his part, the Gen­eral Sec­re­tary of the trade union Lentsoe La Sech­aba Mon­a­heng Mokoane said the Court must be fully-op­er­a­tional to help pre­vent the un­fair treat­ment of work­ers in the work­place.

“The rights of work­ers are be­ing tram­pled upon due to fail­ure by the Court to fully op­er­ate. In many cases em­ploy­ers are get­ting away with mal­prac­tices at the ex­pense of the poor work­ers,” he said.

He said his or­gan­i­sa­tion has filed more than 50 cases in the Labour Court, which are yet to be heard.

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