MBABANE: The Minister of Labour and Social security Makhosi Vilakati has announced that 8121 Textile workers were laid off due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The Minister revealed this during a press briefing held at the cabinet offices in Mbabane on Monday afternoon where he mentioned that the declaration of a national emergency as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak culminated into a need to issue The Guidelines on Employment contingency by measures in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, General notice No:22 of 2020. He said these guidelines were issued in terms of Section 32(10) of the COVID 19 regulations, Legal No:72 of 2020 adding that they were meant to assist employers and employees in addressing any uncertainties in respect of payment of salaries. Furtehrmore, the Minster said these guidelines will assist in addressing employment status of workers, workplace governance and other pertinent issues which were considered necessary to regulate during this period.
The minister stated that the continued payment of salaries is not based upon the principle of “no work no pay, but it is conditional upon financial considerations of the business. The “no work no pay” principle only applies during strike actions, now the employees are not on strike but certain businesses are closed in compliance with the partial lockdown. He further, reiterated that any contingency measure that is considered possible depending on the financial circumstances of a business, including the one on pay cuts or reduction of payment of salaries should be taken in full consultation with the employees and the office of the Commissioner of labour, and should not be imposed upon the employees.