What you need to know about The Employment Code of 2019: A Series – Part 1

Its almost been a month since the the The Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019 (The Employment Code) was enacted and the employment community is still buzzing with what it all means. Rumors of 5 months maternity leave, 25% gratuity and the unspeakable management overtime are all over the place.

Welcome to my 8 part series on the Employment Code, as opposed to having everything in one place you can look at specific parts individually. Please note that this material is not a substitute for reading the actual code and should not be construed as anything other than a sharing of understanding and information. Now that we have that out of the way, lets get to the fun part!

What happens to the old Employment Act(s)?

The Employment Code has repealed and replaced for key pieces of employment legislation;

–       The Employment Act, 1965
–       Employment Special Provisions Act, 1966
–       Employment of Young Persons and Children Act, 1933
–       Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment Act, 1982

This pretty much means as opposed to referring to those documents for guidance, we shall now refer to The Employment Code. This can be seen as an attempt to consolidate all these different pieces of legislation into one consolidated piece.

However, it should be noted that Statutory Instruments (SIs) such as the 3 Minimum Wage Amendments (General Order, Shop Workers & Domestic) will remain in force. This is owing to the fact that Chapter 2 Section 15 of the Laws of Zambia reads;

Where any Act, Applied Act or Ordinance or part thereof is repealed, any statutory instrument issued under or made in virtue thereof shall remain in force, so far as it is not inconsistent with the repealing written law, until it has been repealed by a statutory instrument issued or made under the provisions of such repealing written law, and shall be deemed for all purposes to have been made thereunder.

Thus, if nothing else they stay for now.

When does it come into play?

This Act may be cited as the Employment Code Act, 2019,
and shall come into operation on the date appointed by the Minister
by statutory instrument.

The Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019

Thus, no one knows! But rumor has it June, 2019. However, owing to the fact that we know we shall not forever live in limbo, familiarize yourself with it and start to figure out how to apply it to your life and organisation.

Now that we know what it is and what it replaces, lets discuss what it contains.