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Alba Iulia
Friday, September 25, 2020

COVID-19: Place Workers On Paid Leave, Simukoko

Headlines COVID-19: Place Workers On Paid Leave, Simukoko

Labour and Social Security Minister, Joyce Simukoko has urged employers across the country to place employees on paid annual leave in view of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Mrs Simukoko says this should include those with few or without accrued days.

She says in an event that the above is not feasible, when an Employer places the employees on forced leave, they should ensure that they are paid a basic pay as provided for in section 48 in the Employment Code Act number 3 of 2019.

The Minister says Government is aware of the impact of Covid-19 on sectors such as the Tourism and Agriculture where suspensions of operations have occurred which invariably might cause a challenge on employment relations.

Mrs. Simukoko was speaking during the Special tripartite Consultative Labour Council meeting on Covid-19 held in Lusaka today.

And Mrs Simukoko said if the public health threat deteriorates the Ministry through the labour Council will consider further mitigating actions which will be advised to the public in due course.

She said the meeting has come at a right time to inform the labour market on measures to be taken to limit the impact of Covid-19 on Employment relations.

And, Zambia Congress of Trade Union’s president Chishimba Nkole appealed to government to ensure that employers comply to existing Labour laws during the period of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the Zambia Federation of Employers Acting President Mara Sakala called on government to start preparing for more interventions such as payments to business and workers to cover up to a certain percentage of wages for workers.

Ms. Sakala further said the Union is of the view that government should suspend contributions to the National Health Insurance Scheme by all employees.


  1. Someone on this page said this was coming, Actually No one will be paid. all other governments are taking the bill of employment what of ours. Is this an African curse??

  2. Yes we humbly ask them before we force things through law. Better still at least pay them 80 percent of their salaries. Kz

  3. But how does she expect businesses to continue to pay when they have no revenue? These same businesses still have fixed costs from GRZ to meet dbut are having no guests They need to wave these and this will help employers to be able to pay there employees.

  4. So you know were the employers will get the money? No one is buying certain things like tourism, bars are closed. for once lets remove Political science and start thinking using Business administration.

    If a child does not know maths. No matter how hard you punish they will not solve dy/dx

    GRZ should come in and help the commerce just like other countries are doing

  5. You cant force nothing through law, the talk should be about the govt reducing the tax rates as well as giving employers some tax holiday of some sort otherwise how will employers make money without employees?

  6. Minister of Labour is citing labour laws out if context. True, employees are government protected persons but when the government out of its own wisdom forces businesses to close, ithe cited legislation ought not apply. And where will the money to pay salaries come from, any way? Most SMEs operate on a hand to month cash budget. Let’s be fair with everyone.

  7. I’m also surprised that the employer representative in this particular meeting was so ignorantly docile.Does he understand that the minister is directing that all business, including those bars, restaurants…or call them kontamas, should keeping payi g salaries until we don’t know?

  8. i would have expected to say suspend Paye and those not able to pay paye pay them some subsistence allowance which can be deducted in months time..is thinking this difficulty

  9. This lady is headless, with this economy in Zambia who can do tht? First even our government had no capacity to do so. Ad a minister put up a silly suggestion of such, now l believe even wht Seer 1 was saying. “You’ll see them, all wht they will be saying will be rubbish” this is it?
    She was an iron lady in the union these days bt since she entered politics, l think she’s not the Joyce Nonde we knew, this married thing, she’s not the one.
    In Zambia can we do tht? Don’t just come up with issues you can’t handle, in Zambia if workers are not paid for one month l don’t know how will it be.

  10. Has government paid council workers now? UNZA and CBU lecturers? Pensioners who were being battered by the rain? Just asking for a friend

  11. Kenya govt has reduced corporate tax by 5%, reduced PAYE …its supporting businesses these dull ministers like this empty tin Simukoko are just plying more pressure on them. What govt of dull foooooools

  12. Watch and wait to see how this coronavirus will push Zambia’s very weak 2% growth economy into a recession.

  13. @ Kauteule very valid point, at time like this its little economic gymnastics that boosts and keep the economy moving, how will unpaid workers keep sustaining the local manufacturing? this is the right time for the dismantling of any local debts, so that people keep the local industries running.

  14. It is the responsibility of the trade union and the insurance to pay workers on lay off. This is why workers pay membership fees.. There is No reason for employer to pay workers who are on lay off (not working)

  15. How does the bar owner continue paying the bartender if the bar is closed? Closing the source of water and expecting the people downstream to continue receiving water…

  16. What is the Govt doing to safeguard small businesses in our Country, am foreseeing lock-down anytime soon..and people don’t save due to high cost of living in our Country, or they do is hand to mouth jobs.

  17. She has only quoted laws and amwapeeling without offering contingency from her government. Kwena ba PF mwaonekela apa peve. I will be shocked if 2021 spares you mwe…

  18. I have a kantemba, now who’s going to pay me for offloading me off the streets when I close shop. GRZ please look into my n others Plight in similar situations. I have to provide for my family.

  19. When in a critical situation don’t rush to make decisions think first before you act. Most Zambians depend on their small businesses to survive and many people work in these businesses. When people in shoprite go home amidst this unfortunate pandemic will things in the shops remain intact without being destroyed until people to work return? Do you want business owners scared of their merchandise going to waste work alone and still pay his employees who are at home? What relief is govt giving these businesses and companies so that they can meet what you are suggesting without suffering too much losses. Remember all businesses in Zambia have had a torrid time economically already. What bargaining chip or incentive is govt giving in return for what they are enforcing on the business…

  20. Let 2021 come ba PF from now on, jst starting your katundu or start running into hiding, l hvnt seen a govt of this type since.
    Ba President l hv heard u self praising yo govt tht u hv achieve alot than any other govt frm 1964. Wht hv u achieved? Jst step down maybe u can be honoured for your failure than being in the position waiting to hear from an opposition leader to hold a press conference first, then get some ideas how to rule or go abt. It’s very shameful more to us who gave u a vote. 2021 never will l be foolish to vote for any PF crew, you’re a disappointment. Let jst bury PF ad forget it.

  21. Hope PF now understands that development is not just infrastructure. Development is PEOPLE! How will this infrastructure help in lockdown time? When people warned you about senseless borrowing, this is what they had in mind. Running a country is just like running a family. Hope you understand now the importance of borrowing and living within your means (GDP). A country without reserves is naked! See what UK is doing. UK has given companies money to pay workers during this lockdown. Where is the employer going to find money to pay workers when production is Zero? Think!

  22. Kukopela the Western countries and yet you fail to pay workers even when they’re working……businesses are struggling in Zambia they can barely come up with salaries even in full operational now imagine when they’re closed…as usual dull ministers spending time watching CNN and trying kukopela bazungu

  23. Joyce, making such statements under the confines of your office does not carry weight, send your labor inspectors out their to physically pass on the massage, even if they do not touch all places, just that gesture will carry weight as those few who will be visited will quickly relay the information to their suppliers and customers hence the massage will begin to roll. and Ba KZ, try to consult before suggesting things like 80%, that is not what the law stipulates

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