Labour relations stakeholders

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)- Stakeholders in the labour relation sector are demanding scrapping off of panelists that seat as assessors in Industrial Relation Court (IRC) arguing that they impede cases speedy.

The stakeholders are however pushing for permanent case assessors while others want only the chairperson court or deputy be solely seat for industrial cases.

The proposals were made during the public debate which Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) and Oxfam orgainsed on Labour Relations Amendment Bill on Thursday, October 30, 2021 in the capital Lilongwe.

Malawi Law Society (MLS)’s Honorary Secretary Chrispin Chimwemwe Ngunde observes that permanent panelists will enable assessor to be fully committed on the case.

Ngunde says current panelist impede speeding of the cases as are committed to other personal institution work.

“It’s either we have permanent panelists or only chairperson or their duty who will solely handle cases unlike the current trend that delays judicial processes, “ says Ndunde.

The Industrial Relations Court’s Chairperson Austin Bwagadu Boli Msowoya observes that permanent panelist proposal is a good move towards impartial handling of cases.

Msowoya says current crop of panelists have sides depending on who appoint them; employer or employee.

He therefore agrees with proposal to have permanent panelist who will seat in the court as assessors while chairperson or deputy handles cases.

“With permanent panelists who seat as assessors will set as tribunal for speedy running of the cases with impartial and fair judgment,” says Msowoya.

HRCC Chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba lauded stakeholders for bringing pertinent issues towards amendment of Labor Relations Bill.

Mkwezalamba observes that discussion has given his organization task to thoroughly look suggestions towards proper amendment of the bill.

He said scrapping off of temporal panelists to permanent will speed handling of cases as assessors will seat as commissioners.

The discussions attracted participants drawn from unions including Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU), Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM), Nurses Union and among others.   

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