IPMZ urges head­mas­ters, SDC mem­bers to be well-versed with labour laws

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Wil­son Dakwa Business Re­porter

THE In­sti­tute of Peo­ple Man­age­ment of Zim­babwe (IPMZ) has urged head­mas­ters and mem­bers of School De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tees (SDC) to be well-versed with labour laws to avoid law­suits.

Speak­ing on the side­lines at a ba­sic labour law work­shop at­tended by head­mas­ters in Bu­l­awayo last week, IPMZ Mata­bele­land branch chair­man Mr Nkosi­lathi Ncube said Labour Law acts as a cat­a­lyst of im­ple­ment­ing spe­cific hu­man re­sources ac­tiv­i­ties which il­lus­trate ap­pro­pri­ate means of man­ag­ing peo­ple and pro­mot­ing team­work spirit.

“We re­alised that the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor hadn’t been tapped into in terms of hu­man re­sources is­sues. Schools can now em­ploy aux­il­iary staff such as grounds per­sons un­like in the past whereby the min­istry was re­spon­si­ble for the hir­ing. If head­mas­ters don’t have much knowl­edge about the Labour Law, con­trac­tual obli­ga­tions may be mis­han­dled or skipped.

“SDC changes an­nu­ally and we plan on im­ple­ment­ing such work­shops at the be­gin­ning of the year so that the new SDC can ben­e­fit as well,” said Mr Ncube.

The work­shop ran un­der the theme: “up­hold­ing the best hu­man re­sources prac­tices for sus­tain­able ser­vice de­liv­ery in schools.”

Mr Ncube said in the fu­ture, IPMZ will also pro­mote Labour Law among sub­or­di­nates. He added that his or­gan­i­sa­tion would also tar­get other sec­tors.

“We will con­duct fol­low ups to as­sess if there would have been im­prove­ments in worker-man­age­ment re­la­tion­ships. At a small scale, we want to be able to go to schools and con­duct in-house train­ings as sub­or­di­nates also need to be trained and made aware of their rights and also avoid im­ping­ing on the em­ployer’s rights.

“IPMZ is also work­ing on es­tab­lish­ing a ser­vice cen­tre whereby schools can call our or­gan­i­sa­tion to seek ad­vice and we re­fer them to a rec­om­mended con­sul­tant at a ne­go­ti­ated rate. Our sec­ond point must be the com­mer­cial sec­tor and also grad­u­ally move into other sec­tors such as min­ing and so on,” he said.

Ge­noeg con­sult­ing firm’s prin­ci­pal con­sul­tant Mr Mu­nashe Zhou urged the business com­mu­nity to op­er­ate within the Labour Re­la­tions Act and use the cor­rect type of con­tracts when hir­ing peo­ple.

He also called upon head­mas­ters to avoid em­ploy­ing aux­il­iary staff for six con­tin­u­ous weeks as this au­to­mat­i­cally turns the staff into per­ma­nent work­ers.

“When you ca­su­alise jobs meant for per­ma­nent staff, you will be un­know­ingly cre­at­ing per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees and this is dan­ger­ous be­cause the Gov­ern­ment and school wouldn’t have bud­geted for a per­ma­nent em­ployee. By the na­ture of the Labour Re­la­tions Act, the school will find it dif­fi­cult to win cases against em­ploy­ees who will claim to be per­ma­nent staff as the min­i­mum du­ra­tion of a con­tract which can be re­newed is three months,” said Mr Zhou.

He added that per­for­mance man­age­ment was es­sen­tial for an or­gan­i­sa­tion to reach and achieve its goals.

“You can’t man­age per­for­mance with­out un­der­stand­ing the mile­stones of the em­ploy­ees un­der your au­thor­ity. There are el­e­ments which need to be con­sid­ered in terms of pol­icy in­ter­pre­ta­tion on re­cruit­ment, per­for­mance mea­sure­ment and how to en­gage em­ploy­ees,” said Mr Zhou.

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