High Court judge Rachel Sikwese has urged employees to familiarise themselves with labour laws to be aware of their rights at the workplace.
Sikwese said this in an interview on Monday in Blantyre on the sideline of a Labour Rights Organisation (Laro) seminar where they were discussing issues to do with fair labour practices and effective handling of workers’ compensation cases.
“There are still not many women in decision-making positions, it is the men who are in these positions and they will make decisions that affect employees and if women employees are not empowered, it is a big challenge,” she said.
Laro board chairperson Frank Adini said as a newly-established organisation, they aim to promote fundamental human and labour rights through advocacy, training and free consultancy services on labour and employment issues in the country’s labour market.
He said the seminar equipped participants with skills and knowledge on fair labour practices which will help in reducing complaints and disputes at the workplace.
He said: “There were gaps that we saw such as on pension and who can claim gratuity and severance, the issue of trade unions and why employers would refuse their employees to be in trade unions.”
One of the participants, Martin Juma, who is a human resources manager for Siku Transport, said the seminar was an eye-opener, adding that he was enlightened on the operations of the Labour Act.
He also said he learnt more on the Pension Act and how workers can be compensated.
Laro has pledged to continue with the seminars to ensure that people are educated on labour rights.
The organisation targets both employees and employers, according to Adini.