Proposed National Minimum Wage Bill to be submitted to Cabinet next week

Erasmus Shalihaxwe

The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma, said the proposed National Minimum Wage Bill will be submitted to Cabinet next week.

He said the bill is intended to come into effect later this year.

Nujoma was speaking on Workers’ Day at Rundu sports stadium in the Kavango East region on Wednesday.

He said other labour and employment bills that will be introduced this year are the Occupational Safety and Health Bill, the Compensation for Work-related Accidents and Diseases Bill, and amendments to the Employment Services Act, the Affirmative Act (Employment) Act, and the Social Security Act.

According to him, the Social Security Commission has commenced planning to operationalise the National Pension Fund, designed to protect workers in both the formal and informal sectors. The Fund will contribute to the improved security of all Namibian workers in old age, in accordance with Constitutional principles.

‘’As you may recall, Namibia was designated last year as a Pathfinder Country in the United Nations Global Accelerator of Jobs and Social Protection for Just Transitions after the late President Hage Geingob committed Namibia to a whole-of-government approach to creating jobs and extending social protection through this ambitious and innovative programme.

The General Assembly will be implemented through a partnership between the government, the United Nations, trade unions, employer organisations, and other role players. We expect the GA to make a large and measurable impact in reducing unemployment, which is threatening the future of our youth, and in extending social protection,’’ he said.

Nujoma added that a successful General Assembly roundtable last week brought together a wide range of role players to examine, in-depth the maximisation of employment in the agriculture sector. Another roundtable will be held on 15 May on the biomass value chain and employment.

From these two roundtables, Namibia will submit a joint proposal with several UN agencies to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Fund for catalytic funding to initiate, in the coming months, selected programmes that have the potential to create thousands of jobs, particularly for the youth, and to support new sustainable enterprises.

‘’In the area of social protection, in addition to the National Pension Fund, the global accelerator programme will support the introduction of a National Unemployment Insurance Fund and will examine how to extend maternity protection to those women not covered by Social Security. The GA programme will also devise a national strategy to formalise the informal economy,’’ explained Nujoma.

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