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Malawi Parliament to discuss retrenchment Petition

There are prospects that the Malawi Parliament might look into the issue raised in a petition by two citizens Kawerama Sonjo and Eisenhower Mkaka that the Members consider urgently amending Section 57(2) of the Employment as they feared that recent Supreme Court of Appeals ruling invalidating the legality of Article 14 of the ILO Convention 158 which the Malawi Government ratified in October 1986 as part of our laws as stipulated on Section 211 (1) of the Constitution might have a sigh of relief if news that the Malawi Parliament will treat the matter with urgency, is anything to go by.

Sources privy to the matter revealed that the Petition will be on notice and order paper as early as next week meaning parliament has seen the urgency and they want amendment as quickly as possible,” disclosed a source privy to the matter.

In the said ruling the Supreme Court of Malawi argued that it is an Act of Parliament that provides otherwise than the ratified Convention provides in respect of terminations of employment based on operational requirements of the undertaking in that by section 57(2) it has clearly left out the need for an employer to accord its employees the right to be heard in such instance.

The Court further argued that ILO Convention 158 lost its status as part of the Malawi Law when Parliament by Act No. 6 of 2000 decided to take some of its aspects on board the new employment law while leaving out parts including Articles 13 and 14 of the ILO Convention 158.

But Sonjo and Mkaka observe that the ruling will have an adverse, recurrent and pervasive effects on all employees in Malawi in that employees will be retrenched anyhow and without being consulted, citing operation requirement necessitating the same since the law, since the judgment does not expressly include this.