Monday, June 17, 2024

Dr.Kaseba calls for Maternal Protection Act that would enable 6months maternity leave without job loss

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First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba Sata and JHPIEGO President Leslie Mancuso propose a toast during JHPIEGO's 40th Anniversary celebrations and launch of Alumni at Inter Continental hotel in Lusaka on Tuesday night.
First Lady Dr Christine Kaseba Sata and JHPIEGO President Leslie Mancuso propose a toast during JHPIEGO’s 40th Anniversary celebrations and launch of Alumni at Inter Continental hotel in Lusaka on Tuesday night.

First Lady Christine Kaseba has called for the ratification and domestication of the maternity protection in Zambia to help address poverty, maternal and child morality as well as reduce malnutrition among children.

Dr Kaseba said in Lusaka yesterday during the national tripartite dialogue on maternity protection that maternity protection was at the core of decent work and should be used to empower women socially and economically.The meeting was called to engage stakeholders to support the
ratification and domestication of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention Article 183 on Maternity Protection,which once ratified would enable women to go for maternity leave for about six months and protect women from losing their jobs once on leave.

Dr Kaseba said maternity protection would allow women to carry out their biological role while maintain their productive role as workers,
a move that would benefit everyone Including employers and the Government.

She said when a woman was given enough time to recover from delivery and attend to newly born babies through breastfeeding, this would help
her be healthy and apply themselves to productivity at places of work.

“It is unacceptable that women should be pressured to secure casual and low paying jobs and forced indirectly in making family planning
choices for fear of losing their jobs. Without children there will be no bosses and without children there will be no employers and
employees,” she said.

And Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda said Government intended to ratify the ILO convention to ensure that pregnant or breastfeeding mothers would not be obliged to perform their duties at places of work.

Mr Shamenda said in a speech read for him by his deputy Rayford Mbulu that maternity leave was guaranteed and where possible cash maternity
benefits should be paid.

He said Government would also ensure that the private sector protect the Maternity protection for the well being of all mothers and children.
The Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde Simukoko and the Zambia Congress of Trade Union (ZCTU) president
Leonard Hikaumba both pledged their support towards the ratification and domestication of the ILO convention on maternity protection in
Zambia.

And Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) President Alfred Masupa said the challenge in handling the matter was in striking the balance
between ensuring that women’s economic activities do not pose a risk to the health of the women and their babies.
Meanwhile the ILO commended Government for the strides it had made in ensuring the country ratified and domesticated maternity protection
for women.

50 COMMENTS

  1. We are such a fragile economy we can not afford that loss in man hours, what government could do is introduce some incentive for firms that will implement the 6 months maternity proposed by Doc Kaseba otherwise it has lots of good to the baby and the mother.

    • The drain from the national coffers stemming from the health consequences of poor maternal health, high child mortality health by far outweigh the “loss in man hours”. Moreover, employers can offset this by hiring short term cover, which would also contribute to addressing the high levels of employment. So really, there is no loss to both employers and firms but significant gains to the economy and families in the short and long term.

  2. Eish.. 6 months??? Firms that employee many women will definitely suffer..I can only imagine! Think of it….

  3. This is fantastic! Let women recovery from delivery and breatfeed their children.We are made to rush to work and forced to give our babies formula when breast milk is the best for baby.Then we would have a healthier nation.Kaseba for president!

    • Maria, I am a woman and I agree that if what Dr. Kaseba is proposing is adopted, we will have healthier babies and mothers and therefore reduce on maternal and child mortality. However in a country like ours, this will disadvantage women in most organisations. I recall the rule about women not working night shifts in open spaces, like guarding and filling stations. This has made most guard service providers and owners of service station franchise employ fewer women.
      Some of these issues sound good from afar, but try and run a company or big department in a company with women of productive age. It can really be cumbersome as I have headed a customer service centre before where I used to have 1 to 2 people on maternity every year for 3 years.

    • Why didnt anybody else suggest it, you included? i dont care as long as it works and this is important for that girl child, think about your mama what she went through, your sister, your girlfriend/ wife, your daughter or future daughter, politics aside, this is the best thing since chrismas, now, lets all be mature and realistic, she’s the one to lead Zambia to that promised land, Dr Kas for president, women lets start calling, i honestly dont see any other man fit for state house!

    • this is not clear to me, unless she says the government will be able to pay for it not the employers. i know people with shallow minds will welcome this idea without deep thinking especially you sana.

  4. This is ridiculous! where else in the world has anyone heard of such a long maternity leave. women below 55 will find it hard to get employment

    • Rubbish….. in Germany it can even go as far as 12 months, my work mate is on maternity leave and she will be gone for 8 months. In Europe baba even men go on leave to take care of the newly born baby. Wake up and stop thinking just around you

    • In UK it is up to 1 year – 6 months full pay, 3 months half pay, the remaining 3 months no pay (except for govt statutory payment).

      This is a very welcome move mama Kaseba – why should women go to the office with breast milk dripping

  5. YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! Thank you mama, ala mwabomba, next implement the law that men can go on maternity leave as well, these men have no idea what it takes to takecare of them, their companies, their children, in short women are taking care of the country, the men have no idea they are busy running around and are in slumber, it’s about time, i also forgot….., another law madam first lady……….., When a child fall ill, a man can stay home with that child and takecare of all that it holds in looking after a sick child, Batubelesha sana abaume aba!

    • No need, Zambian men dont help to take care of the baby. At night men dont help to nurse the baby. Its as good as them not being there. Its women who do all the hard work.so they deserve the 6 months paid leave.

    • I concur with Malaika, no paternal leave as most of them rarely ever get up to even sooth the little ones as they struggle with colic! Just go to work so that after we sooth the young ones we can pamper ourselves back to health. I am loving this already.

  6. Instead of six months way from work, why not introduce flexi working for women after matenity? This has worked in some organisations in some countries. Women can choose to come to work @ 11:00am till 7:00pm or from 07:00am to 3:00pm. The other angle would be the encouragement of introducing child care facilites at work places for breastfeeding mothers. Should the proposition by the good doctor succeed, may I suggest it remains optional for mothers to make a choice of when they wish to return to work. Six months compulsory is simply too much for any economy.

  7. Chiteni bwangu ifyo mayo. ala nalafyala chifyalefyale!!!!

    what about us who work for investors?/ If they cant give us the gazzetted mothers day how on earth can they give us 6 months maternity leave??

    • Which investor are you working for who is oppressing you that badly? Damn it mothers’ day is your entitlement, stop spoiling these investors.

    • Zambian employers also ignore at “mother’s day”. Anyway it is NOT meant to be for every women of any age, it is for those women who suffer from debilitating menstrual pain . I know many women who suffer no symptoms during menstruation it is just laziness if they take a day off every month. Some women just need to take a paracetamol and they are fine. Many men who suffer from recurring headaches or other conditions and they just have to shut up and work. Women need to behave as equal responsible human beings if they want to be treated as equals. As for the 6 month maternity leave, it is a good idea and only an extra 2 months on the current 4 months statutory minimum but government should pay for these last 2 months. The economy cannot afford and soem women move employers after…

  8. Has the ‘first lady’ hijacked the ministry of health? She has been speaking a lot on health issues instead of the minister, by the way, who is the minister of health and how comfortable is he with such arrangements?
    Talking of six months maternity leave in such a poor economy is ridiculous. Let’s be serious!

  9. ITS A GOOD SUGGESTION BY THE 2ND LADY BA KASEBA BUT IN A 3RD WORLD COUNTRY THIS WOULD NOT WORK BUT IN FUTURE PRIVATE COMPANIES AND BUSINESSMAN WILL NOT BE EMPLOYING WOMEN WORKERS SO IT WILL ONLY BRING A LOT OF UNEMPLOYMENT FOR THE WOMEN. IN THE UK A WOMEN IS GRANTED 12WEEKS LEAVE BEFORE THE BABY IS DUE WITH PAY AND 9 MONTHS LEAVE AFTER THE BABY IS BORN BUT ON THIS ITS WITHOUT PAY.EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAVE INSURANCE SCHEME WHILST BEING EMPLOYED AND THEY SOCIAL WELFARE SO THEY CAN MANAGE BUT IN AFRICA WE DONT HAVE ANY OF THESE SO AN EMPLOYER WILL BE FORCED TO PAY FROM THEIR POCKETS WHICH NOBODY WILL BE WILLING TO PAY.MY SUGGESTION IS THAT AN EMPLOYER SHOULD PAY HALF THE WAGE FOR 3 MONTHS AND ALSO KEEP THE JOB OPEN FOR THEM 3 MONTHS. LADIES NO OFFENCE PLEASE,SAYING SOMETHING PRACTICAL

    • you i.diot why do you always write in capital letters? What is the significance. Villager with some slight education. Sha!

  10. 6 months will make our mothers unemployable in key positions. Most jobs require that you be confirmed if you act for 3 months.

  11. The London Eye #11, how poor is Zambia’s economy? My guess on the first lady’s initiatives is that she is within her professional arena to advocate things that could help the citizenry, be it men or women. I also believe that the Ministry of Health may not necessarily take that on board; neither would the Ministry of Labor… depending on the overall implications to production and contribution to the GDP of the country. What do you think?

    • Thank you Kalok, Yes the ‘first lady’ is within her professional arena but don’t you think it would be much more appreciated if she made consultation with the minister privately and let him issue the statement. A situation where anyone can suggest an act of parliament to be tabled when they are not MP’s breeds disorder.

    • Yes – very good point! But then again, perhaps we should take a leaf from her to lobby MPs AS citizens because ideally it is what comes from suggestions such as these that should end up being tabled in parliament. In fact, the more suggestions fly out there, the more refined our laws might just turn out. I believe the Minister must take the hint from the MPs, who should take a hint from their constituents. Now the “hint’s” airing could depend on what medium the constituent uses… Don’t you think that would be a far better use of our vote?

  12. Zambia is a third world country, we are not at that level. Which company will hire a woman then later give them six months maternity leave? May be without pay. If Government is going to give financial assistance to the mothers then it’s ok kaili we pay taxes.

  13. It’s good idea but not priority since it only benefits small fraction of women in formal jobs whilst majority of them fend on their own to put bread and butter on the table every day whether they are on maternity or not. Urgent duty is to continue creating decent and formal jobs for women especially who sell at taverns, markets, farm workers. Once women employment levels are high, let us say 90% then we can tackle this topic and it should extend to men, 3 months each exchangeable for paternal and maternal & who goes first is a bedroom battle. For now let us just encourage NAPSA & employers to provide child care facilities at work or else the market for women employment will shrink. NAPSA should provide insurance benefits but not employers since they pay contributions for staff.

  14. Who is going to pay for it? Imagine one employs a maid. She goes on 6 months maternity leave. You still pay her salary while employing another maid.
    Is GRZ prepared to have statutory maternity pay for 6 months? Where will the money come from?

  15. IWE CHI CAT POWER, WHO ARE TO SAY ONE SHOULD NOT WRITE IN CAPITAL LETTERS.YOU ARE CHI IMBWI UNDER 5 DROP OUT FROM CHIBOLYA PRIMARY,BLOODY KOLWE,ATA SE

  16. The Idea is great and a good start to improve certain things in the economy, if implemented wisely. Imagine you are an employer faced with high demand of your products, and this means high production.Let say among your 100 production workers 70 are women of fertility age and so 65 go on 6 months maternity leave. A number of things here need to be taken care of – 1. the cost of hiring temp workers 2. maternity leave pay. 3. cost of loosing a customer. 4. cost of unemployment. All these four aspects have an impact on the general welfare of the country. The scenario here may be over-blown but imagine 20 companies with high rate of maternity leave? remember one of the law of business success is to create and keep a customer. if you aint creating and keeping a customer you will remain a 3rd

  17. Continued . . . world for ever. Both an employer and employee must at least be at win-win situation. Employee gets what is fair and the employer expect value from employee.If the burden of cost will be solely on the employer then they will be gender inequality in the workforce. Employers will hire less of women for fear of the cost of keeping them, and this will reverberate into the ecosystem of a country’s development or well being. There are many ways of reaching a consensus but one of them is sharing the cost of the plan among the direct stake holders, being, employer, employee, government,and if there is insurance coy. That way each party has a fair share. An employee can be made to bank certain work hours towards sick, vacation, maternity leave days etc.. whatever is workable.

  18. Good idea on paper. But I will tell you one thing for free. Expect hiring of fewer women and firing of many. Haven’t employers in Zambia have a right to “hire and fire at will”? Our culture of siring of dozens of younglings per family hasn’t changed much. Which employer will absorb this kind of thing? Dr. Kaseba, this will ironically eventually back fire on women.

  19. that kids glove you want to have children,quit the job ,go back to the kitchen where you belong…put the woman in her place dont cry for what you cant do…i will reject that trash!

  20. Imagine I’m a nurse work for UTH, I had a bay and rested for 6 month, my baby is 5 month now and I need to work, I need a maid to take care of her, now the maid is pregnant, I need to continuesly pay her for six month while I have to look for another maid to work. Can I manage with my salary?

  21. you guys are so immature.am sure most of you who are making these negatyive comments are men. this is a brilliant idea. without us women taking care of
    you,you would’nt be alive today

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