Minister of Labour and Social Security, Brenda Tambatamba, has called on labour officers to explain the recent pension reforms pronouncements.
Ms Tambatamba says labour officers must help people understand early access to a pension, the revision of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) penalty rate and the closure of the Zambia National Provident Fund (ZNPF).
Officially opening the labour officers conference at Zambezi Source Lodge in Kabwe, Central Province, the Labour Minister said the pension reforms is a response by the government to the calls by the workers to remodel the pension schemes.
The Minister said the Government has scored some significant milestones among them the enactment of the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management Act No. 3 of 2022 and the development of sector-based minimum wages.
She further said the drafting of the national productivity bill, the development of the occupation health and safety policy and, the amendment of the NAPSA Act to allow for partial withdrawal of employees’ pension benefits and to revise the penalty rate to provide relief to businesses are among them too.
“The enactment of the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management Act No. 3 of 2022 is aimed at facilitating effective regulation, standardization and enforcement of human resources management practices that protect and promote the rights of the workers. It reinforces the regulatory mandate of the human resource profession,” Ms Tambatamba said.
She disclosed that her ministry through the advisory council is currently reviewing the existing minimum wages and conditions of service for protected employees for the purpose of aligning them to the prevailing socio-economic conditions in the country.
The Minister also called on the labour officers to fully participate in the advancement of decent work because it is critical in actualizing the transformation agenda of the new dawn government.
“I call upon all of you to fully participate in the advancement of the decent work as it is critical in actualizing the transformation agenda of the New Dawn Government as espoused in the 8th National Development Plan (8NDP) on economic transformation and job creation, human and social development, environmental sustainability and good governance environment,” she said.
Ms Tambatamba also advised officers to use the right channels of communication in case of doubt in the course of action to be taken.
She admitted that officers in the ministry have had some administrative challenges but was quick to state that the New Dawn administration under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema is passionate to unlock the potential barriers for a sustainable economy, holistic and inclusive national development.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Labour and Social Security acting Permanent Secretary, Zacharia Luhanga, said the workshop was very important because it brought all stakeholders together to deliberate on labour matters.
Mr. Luhanga said there could be no future without the past and participants should use the workshop to strategize on how to improve on service delivery.