The Supreme Court has retrospectively dismissed the statutory labour law created in the Zuva Supreme Court judgement of 2015 that gave employers the right to terminate contracts of their employees on notice.
Nearly 400 Air Zimbabwe permanent employees that were fired on notice will now be reinstated or compensated accordingly.
iHarare has established from The Herald that the judgement also gives protection to all employees who lost their jobs before the promulgation of Labour Amendment Act No 5 of 2015, that is the period between the Zuva judgement and the enactment of the amendment act.
At the Labour Court lawyer Mr Caleb Mucheche successfully represented the employees of Air Zimbabwe whose contracts were terminated on three month’s notice in 2015.
The Labour Court then gave Air Zimbabwe a 60-day ultimatum to either reinstate or pay damages to the fired employees.
Air Zimbabwe subsequently challenged the Labour court ruling at the Supreme court.
A three-judge panel comprising of Justice Paddington Garwe, Justice Susan Mavangira and Justice Nicholas Mathonsi dismissed Air Zimbabwe’s appeal.
Justice Garwe said the Labour Court acted within its jurisdiction by making the amended order acceptable at law.
At the end of the day, therefore, the order granted by the court a quo was one within contemplation of the labour officer, the amendment having been made merely to ensure that the confirmed order accorded with the dictates of the law.
I am of the considered view in light of the above sentiments that the changes effected by the Labour Court were indeed amendments and that they cannot by any stretch of imagination, be termed a substitution.
Soon after the July 17, 2015, Zuva Supreme Court ruling thousands of workers fell victim and were arbitrarily dismissed from employment without any notice.
The government was forced to end the madness in the formal sector leading to the amendment of the Labour Act which outlawed the termination of employment on notice.