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