Africa-Press – Namibia. THE Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation has ordered Namibian employers who contravened labour laws in the past financial year to compensate affected employees with N$1,8 million before the end of March this year.
This was announced in a ministerial press release yesterday.Executive director of labour, industrial relations and employment creation Bro-Matthew Shinguadja said the ministry received 5 430 complaints from employees in this period, which are 960 more than in the previous financial year.The labour ministry provides a safe haven to employees who have been ill-treated by employers breaching labour laws, he said.Shinguadja said employers tend to violate basic employment conditions as stipulated in the Labour Act.These contraventions include the non-payment of wages, unlawful deductions, and refusing to make overtime payments. Some employers and investors also failed to release employees’ severance packages upon the termination of employment contracts during this period, he said.As a result, the labour ministry had to intervene by forcing the involved employees to spend almost N$2 million in total, Shinguadja said.Most of the contraventions committed in 2020 took place in the first quarter of that year, when the country recorded its first Covid-19 cases.Most of the 2 808 complaints were from central Namibia, such as Rehoboth, Windhoek, Gobabis, Okahandja, Omaruru, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. This was followed by 943 complaints in the north-eastern regions, including Rundu, Otavi, and Grootfontein. Shinguadja said his ministry managed to resolve 77% of the complaints received, however, tracing various employers remains a challenge.Unresolved labour issues will be referred to the labour commissioner for conciliation or arbitration, he said.Shinguadja urged employees and employers to solve labour disagreements amicably, and said the ministry is available in an advisory capacity.More importantly, he called on employers to respect Namibia’s labour laws.