Recently the highest court of the land in Zimbabwe made a rather interesting ruling. They said that employers essentially had the same rights as employees. What I refer to is the fact that employees could bring their work contracts to an end by simply giving three months notice. Recently the courts in Zimbabwe decided to make that ruling the same for employers. Obviously there was uproar and some of the statistics that have been bounded about are that up to 1000 people have lost their jobs since the ruling.
Now there are a few issues about this ruling. First of all it is a damn shame that people are losing their jobs. It’s never a nice thing to go through. Unfortunately, it happens all over the world. The labour law that we are using in 2015 is not relevant as it was written in 1985. The economy is on fire, and people are aware of that, yet you expect to not really work at work, and have the protection that the only way that you will get released from your employment is through a dismissal, which in this country and the way the labour courts are, unless you do have mitigating evidence proving misconduct (for example), you ain’t going anywhere.
So this led to a lot of dead wood. People who aren’t adding value to companies yet were drawing a salary. It’s led to a lot of CEOs and directors sitting pretty knowing that they were at the company until retirement. As long as they kept their noses clean, they wouldn’t be dismissed. Can you imagine that shareholders couldn’t fire their CEOs and other top level directors as the ransom would be no dividends because of the packages these guys were on? Worse yet for some of these companies to replace these guys, they would spend shitloads of money on them for some ridiculous package that doesn’t make sense in an economy that’s on fire like Zimbabwe.
So now comes the hope that this ruling is going to be used to trim the civil servants wage bill. This is probably made up of ghost workers, and people long dead who’s salaries are still going to someone. There has to be a rationalisation of business operations for anything to change in this country. This is step one. Releasing people who one couldn’t be released as to happen. We would like to have progression in this country, and unfortunately it is not going to happen with some of the backwards older generation of directors and senior managers. Experience in a critical operational position is important, but progressive thinking is the only way to bring Zimbabwe out of the 1990s to 2015.
I am no economist, but I do realise that if a company is not making enough money to justify keeping employees, they should have the same option that employees have: three months of notice. It is a shitty situation, but then again it IS a shitty situation in the country.