ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Aiding and influencing the business:Aiding and protecting the employee

  • Employees are quite vulnerable in a number of ways
  • This is especially true during times when unemployment is high as is the case in Zimbabwe
  • High unemployment erodes the bargaining power of employees leaving them at the mercy of employers
  • There are therefore laws set out in government statutes, court case (case law) and customary practices that are intended to aid the cause of employees and protect them from exploitation
  • There are various reasons and ways in which employees are protected and these include:

Hiring laws

  • There are laws that protect discrimination against disadvantaged groups during the hiring process
  • These laws are aimed at preventing discrimination against:
    1. Minority races or previously disadvantaged races such as black people in Zimbabwe
    2. Tribalist practices such as not hiring someone because of their tribe
    3. Women who are typically discriminated against solely because of their gender
    4. The disabled
  • Such laws may also impose a quota such as at least 10% of employees must be women or a similar prescription
  • Hiring laws also make it illegal to constantly issue short term contracts so as to rob employees of benefits that they would get if they became permanent employees
  • Employees are also given the right to belong to a union

Dismissal laws

  • These laws protect the employee from unfair dismissal
  • Under labour laws employees have the right to be notified of impending dismissal
  • In most instances employees ought to be given at least 3 months notice if they are permanently employeed and 3 weeks for temporary workers
  • Laws can also prescribe severance packages and dismissal procedures that should be followed when dismissing employees

Terms of employment

  • These laws protect employees against unfair terms of employments
  • They limit maximum working hours in given sectors
  • There is a National Employment Council of Zimbabwe that governs the conditions of employment
  • A minimum wage is also set for each sector of the economy and for various industries
  • Employers are tasked with making sure that the work place environment is safe for employees
  • This includes providing safety equipment
  • Some laws also mandate the employer to provide reasonable health care facilities to cater for workplace injuries
  • The employer is required to make pension contributions on behalf of the employee mostly through the National Social Security Authority of Zimbabwe (NSSA)
  • Whistle blowers are also protected by laws
  • A whistle blower someone who discloses improper or criminal activity within an organization
  • Employees are also entitled to paid leaves of absence including maternity and paternity leave
  • Employees should not be discriminated against due to their race, gender or religion

To access more topics go to theĀ O Level Business Notes