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'Work From Home' - Labour Sector Advises

Mpho Balopi
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tripartite labour structure consisting of government, the employer and labour has suggested that organisations should allow employees to work from home.

The labour sector met recently to deliberate on matters relating to coronavirus and agreed on ways to enhance issues of personal safety, while addressing certain considerations relevant to the workplace touching on the employer/employee relations.

The tripartite agreed on, amongst others that where possible, employers and employees could draw on a reconfiguration of hours of work such as shift work in order to allow space to be considered together with reduced hours of work.

The tripartite suggested that in the event where quarantine and closure is unavoidable, organisations should consider a staggered way of paying wages depending on the circumstances of the company. 

“This could entail facilitating agreements on a defined agreement of full pay, half pay, quarter pay and unpaid leave. Where possible, the suspension of operations without pay be considered,” read a statement signed by all parties in the tripartite as released by the Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Mpho Balopi.

The parties said this should

be in consideration of the job security of employees and maintenance of the business during this period.

The tripartite said any action by the employer of the employee resulting in the unavoidable non-performance of an employment contract as a result of the effects of COVID-19, should be considered just and reasonable. Parties have been urged to guard against any acts of discrimination, victimisation and harassment of suspected cases.

By Sunday afternoon, the country had not registered any confirmed case of COVID-19. However, government had taken a drastic step in preventing any possible spread by restricting gatherings to only up to 10 people from hundred while also ordering the closure of bars to encourage social distancing.

This came after neighbouring Zimbabwe registered its first case of COVID-19. Already, Zimbabwe is a thorn on Botswana’s side for having a high number of its citizens illegally border-jumping to Botswana on a daily basis due to the economic depression in the country.




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