Employment regulation Legal Notices were discussed for two years − GWU
The General Workers Union last week urged the government to re-introduce new employment regulations that were suspended following uproar by employers.
Four Legal Notices were published the previous week, revising rules on vacation leave and payslips.
The revised system allowed annual leave allotment to continue to accrue even when employees were on maternity, sickness or injury leave and even when on unpaid leave.
The new regulations stated that, once granted, leave could not be revoked under any circumstances whatsoever.
They also said that employers could only utilise up to 12 working days from the annual leave entitlement for the shutdown period.
Another Legal Notice said employers would be bound to give employees an itemised payslip either before or on the date when wages are due. The itemised payslip must contain, among other things, the total wages paid, the number of normal and overtime hours worked and the respective pay rates for Sundays or public holidays if applicable, the annual leave and sick leave balance to date for that calendar year and any breakdown of any bonuses, allowances and commissions received.
Last week, government said it was sus- pending the Legal Notices and will be discussing them with the social partners.
The General Workers Union disagreed with the suspension. It said that, contrary to the impression being given, these legal notices were discussed over the past two years in meetings of the Employment and Relations Board.
The GWU and other unions presented proposals for the employment law reform to improve working conditions and address anomalies. It pointed out that some of the provisions in the legal notices had already been included in collective agreements.
It was therefore logical to extend these rights and conditions to workers who were not represented by a union, the GWU said.
It said it could not understand how anyone could be against giving employees a detailed payslip on their payday. And why should unused leave not be carried forward to the following year?
There are cases where employees have their leave cancelled by their employer and are then not allowed to carry it forward to the following year.
The GWU said that while employees have duties and obligations towards their employers, the employers have to respect their employees and be honest with them.
Employees rightly expect to be part of the country’s economic success, it said.