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Minister of Labour announces Amendments to legislations to better protect workers

Date: April 23, 2012
Persona: Citizen; Government

GIS - Apr 23, 2012: Amendments to the provisions of the Employment Relations Act and the Employment Rights Act, will be made by the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment with a view to better protect workers, promote collective bargaining both in public and private enterprises and effectively strengthen tripartism and social dialogue.

Speaking at a press conference this morning in Port Louis, Minister Shakeel Mohamed said that these amendments will further promote, through effective social dialogue, consensus building on issues of national importance, especially those related to the world of work. These amendments will furthermore define clearly the role and responsibilities of employers with regard to compliance to the laws.

The Minister enumerated a series of measures in the interest of workers which have been taken after various consultations with the trade unions, the Mauritius Employers' Federation, the International Labour Organisation, the non-governmental organisations and the civil society.

These measures include:

  • Setting up of an Employment Promotion and Protection Tribunal to determine whether cases of reduction of workforce/closure of enterprises are justified or not;
  • Provision of a legal framework for contractual work so as to prevent employers from having recourse to abusive termination of contracts of employment and the operation of shift/night work;
  • Provision of annual leaves and sick leaves for workers reckoning more than 6 months service but less than 12 months and also to part-time workers who are governed by the provisions of any Renuneration Order;
  •  Streamlining the provisions under the terms Termination of Employment particularly as regards the breach of contract and abandonment of work;
  • Review of the conditions for laid off workers to integrate the Workfare Programme;
  • Extension of the provision of Gratuity on Retirement to all workers in other sectors such as the Sugar Industry and Air Mauritius, amongst others;
  • Provision of Gratuity at Death to workers on the basis of 15 days' remuneration for each year of service in case of the death of an employee who has been in continuous employment with the same employer for not less than ten years; and
  • Strengthening of the laws regarding industrial offences by increasing the fines from Rs 10 000 to Rs 25 000 and extending to two years the term of imprisonment.
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