Comprehensive digital SADC labour law guide launched by SADC Private Sector Forum
A monumental compendium on labour laws in all member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was launched this week.
Compiled by the Botswana-based SADC Private Sector Forum, the new resource is an online tool that provides up-to-date labour laws in one central location. It is can be accessed via PC, tablet and mobile devices, and it comes in English, French and Portuguese.
Working in cooperation with the SADC Secretariat, the SADC Private Sector Forum said it is the unifying voice of the private sector on regional policies, priorities, issues, and programmes. The forum advocates a business-friendly regional environment by engaging first with SADC and second with all other stakeholders, as necessary.
Starting in 2017, the SADC Labour Law guide was compiled with the support of the International Labour organisation. The goal was to create a single access point for all labour laws in the region to facilitate a greater understanding of employers’ legal obligations, promote decent work principles, improve compliance, and promote formal business, trade, and employment in and between SADC countries. The result is a standardized, updated and verified single source to all labour laws in the region.
At this week’s launch, the Forum stated “At a time when the need and use of online information and communication is greater than ever before the online Labour Law Guide elevates African innovation and provides a welcome and competitive resource. It will no doubt increase accessibility to labour laws which are integral to activity across sectors from agriculture to energy and from investment to trade.”
Forum chair, Dr Aggrey Mlimuka said “We are extremely excited to be at the forefront of an innovative African knowledge platform. The Labour Law Guide is impressive. As a resource it will have a huge impact on the future of work, as well as development and sustainable growth on the continent as it will facilitate investment flow into our region.”
“Sharing information and spreading ideas that work is key to strengthening the region. Through the Labour Law guide, the Forum upholds its mandate to support regional business and investment, promote compliance and decent work principles, and facilitate both trade and employment across SADC. The guide is therefore designed with investors, businesses institutions (from SMEs to major corporations), governments, labour organizations, academia, and students in mind.”
The SADC Labour Law Guide allows users to search and access components of laws of any specific country, compare the laws in any two countries, or get a comparative SADC view. Search results can be easily downloaded or shared. The guide provides access to information on fundamental rights, minimum standards legislation, labour institutions, foreign worker provisions, and social security provisions.
Along with the labour laws, the platform includes a purpose built COVID-19 dashboard. This provides access to regularly updated information under ten key ‘regulatory highlights’, from Enabling Laws to Health & Safety and Goods through Ports to Unemployment Relief, where the pandemic is leaving its mark. The dashboard is a comprehensive way to keep abreast of both in-country and regional responses and reactions to COVID-19. The information is compiled and maintained through the co-ordinated effort of major legal firms from across the region.
The dashboard also displays a comparative look at the state of COVID across SADC, Africa and the rest of the world.