In today’s newsletter :
- Small Stock Marketing Scheme
- Restrictions on weaner exports still on the table
- Dismissal of farm workers
- Women’s Day
Small Stock Marketing Scheme
Further action steps are considered how the address the Small Stock Marketing Scheme with government and the industry. The unsatisfactory situation within the small stock industry has not changed. A document, with possible decisions and subsequent action steps, will be prepared for the LPO congress in order for small stock representatives to discuss it and make a joint decision. Small stock representatives, led by the LPO chairman, will do the necessary preparations for this document by the end of September.
The LPO’s position is still that the Ombudsman’s report, which has been issued, has to be fully implemented.
Restrictions on weaner exports still on the table
The possible implementation of restrictions or the regulation of weaner exports are still on the table. The LPO, together with other producer groups, is drafting a negotiation document to prevent this possible regulation. The document will provide actual information about the local beef industry, similar case studies highlighting restrictions on the livestock sector and making suggestions what government can do to promote value addition, thereby creating industrialisation without negatively affecting a sector within the value chain.
The LPO’s view is that local value addition is supported, but only if it is profitable value addition, which realizes economic growth and is not detrimental to other stakeholders within the value chain. In other words, each part of the value chain should benefit from local value addition.
Dismissal of farm workers
Following recent reports of farm workers which were dismissed and are now living in road reserves, we would like to give the legal procedures for dismissal of workers. Articles 29 to 37 of the Labour Act, No 11 of 2007, are about termination of service of any worker in Namibia, including farm workers. The Act sees any termination of service of a worker as an unfair dismissal if the employer has not followed a fair process or had a fair reason for the dismissal. With exception, at most of the disputes which farm workers have registered against their employers at work and thus also for unfair dismissal, the responsibility is for the employer to proof the opposite. A fair process at dismissal means that a formal disciplinary hearing is held where the accused inter alia gets the chance to defend him/herself against the accusation. If the verdict is guilty based on proof or a dominance of possibilities, various factors must be taken into consideration to make it a fair reason for dismissal. Here factors must be considered such as previous transgressions, the seriousness of the transgression, years of service, etc. Under the current Act there is thus not such a thing as “automatic dismissal” or workers who dismissed themselves following the nature of the transgression. Even if workers are arrested by the Police, accused and locked up for serious transgression, the said process must still be followed by the employer before the worker can be dismissed.
According to the Act a farm worker who has been dismissed, is allowed to stay for three months in his house on the farm after he was dismissed, even though very few insist thereon. Furthermore the Act determines that if workers are dismissed within a year after they commenced the work, the employer must transport them to the town or place where he has been recruited or to pay them an amount similar to the transport costs of said transport.
The Women’s Day during the NAU Congress will be held on October 11 at 07:30 at De Kayak, Tennis Str, Olympia, Windhoek. It is offered by the Gobabis Regional Agricultural Union and the theme is “Stand tall, Wear a Crown, Be Sweet on the Inside” and speakers are Sanet Vermeulen, Annelise Genis and Antoinette de Chavonnes-Vrugt. Registration is N$80 per person and please register before October 3 with Janie Jooste, Tel 081 3719252, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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