Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers General Secretary Chingati Msiska has called on unionized members of staff in Barclays Bank Zambia Plc to remain calm amid reports that the British bank is exiting its African operations.
“We urge our members to remain calm during this period and continue working normally and leave the union and management to discuss this issue thoroughly. Disrupting operations in the institution shall not be in the best interest of either party, thus the best possible option in this case is dialogue on the way forward.” he said.
“We would further like to encourage all stakeholders that the interests of both management and the workers shall be protected, given that there are labour laws in the country which guide on how to handle these issues. The collective agreement which we have with the institution shall also guide us on how to handle any redundancy and separation packages as and when the need arises. Therefore, there is no need for panic and we assure our members that we shall do everything necessary to ensure that they are protected.” He noted
“The labour laws of Zambia state that the contract of service of an employee shall be deemed to have been terminated by reason of redundancy, if the termination is wholly or in part because of the employer ceasing or intending to cease to carry on the business by virtue of which the employee was engaged or the business ceasing or reducing the requirement for the employees to carry out work of a particular kind in the place where the employee was engaged and the business remains a viable going concern.” He observed.
Mr. Msiska said the Zambian laws further state that whenever an employer intends to terminate a contract of employment for reasons of redundancy, the employer shall provide notice of not less than 30 days to the representative of the employee on the impending redundancies and inform the representative on the number of employees to be affected and the period within which the termination is intended to be carried out.
He said the employer should afford the representatives of the employee an opportunity for consultations on the measures to be taken to minimise the terminations and the adverse effects on the employees.
“Management at the institution has written to some of our members over this issue and we shall be meeting management to discuss the fate of these members. BBZ management has shown commitment towards following the legal guidelines in this process and we are confident that our members’ rights shall be protected.”