Industry

Ministry of Labour working hard to address service delivery delays: Nujoma

Summary

Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation Utoni Nujoma has said the ministry is undertaking ambitious measures to eliminate delays during the dispute resolution process.These amongst others include the recruitment of suitably qua…

Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation Utoni Nujoma has said the ministry is undertaking ambitious measures to eliminate delays during the dispute resolution process.

These amongst others include the recruitment of suitably qualified arbitrators, improved scheduling and hearing procedures, and regular in-house training for arbitrators, Nujoma said during a stakeholder meeting here on Monday.

“The code of ethics for arbitrators was introduced in 2020. This will enable the labour commissioner and the minister to act more effectively when arbitrators do not live up to the expectations of the alternative dispute resolution system and the law. With your involvement and support, we can ensure that the system of alternate labour dispute resolution fulfils its promise and meets your expectations,” said Nujoma.

He added that delays during the dispute resolution process is the biggest challenge in the alternative dispute resolution system and it affects both employees and employers as unresolved workplace problems that are allowed to fester will affect not only the well-being of a complainant seeking justice, but also workplace relations, company finances and productivity.

“Participation of private legal practitioners and consultants in conciliation and arbitration proceeding is a major reason for delay. While the arbitration process is supposed to be straightforward, speedy and cost-effective, the increasing involvement of legal practitioners and consultants has resulted in protracted technical point-taking, recurrent requests for litigation, and a misunderstanding by complainants that they must expend considerable sums of money for representation in order to achieve justice before the arbitration tribunals,” the minister stated.

Acting executive director in the ministry Otniel Podewiltz, said the ministry is aware that despite a number of tremendous strides over the years, it has also faced a number of challenges in fulfilling its mandate. The aim of the stakeholder engagement was therefore to discuss and share the successes and challenges faced with the aim of improving on its service offerings.

“This process will be followed up with a comprehensive business process re-engineering exercise to streamline and improve especially the conciliation and arbitration process,” said Podewiltz.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency