HARARE, Dec 22 — Zimbabwe’s Cabinet has agreed on reforms to the country’s labour laws to introduce productivity-linked wages, says Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha.

The proposed reforms would take into account current economic challenges which have affected productivity
levels in most companies, he said here over the weekend.

“Approval was given for labour law reforms that will introduce efficiencies in the economy and measures that will introduce productivity at the firm level,” he said. “Further, it approved that collective bargaining should be (held) at company level so that wages and salaries agreed on are realistic and take into account productivity levels at the company level.”

Bimha said the government had also taken a decision to curtail excessive wage bills in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and local authorities.

“The Cabinet also emphasized the need to undertake reform exercises which includes adjustment downwards of the parastatals and local authorities’ wages and salaries as the current wages and salaries levels are not only costly to the ordinary citizens but also costly to companies through levying high rates, fees and other charges to sustain the high wage bill.”

With the economy struggling to grow due to a myriad of challenges, business has been clamouring for the need to change remuneration structures. However, Zimbabwe’s trade unions have said they would resist moves to adopt productivity-linked wages.

The unions argue that Zimbabwe is not yet ready for productivity-linked wages and insist on maintaining current poverty datum line (PDL)-linked salaries, currently estimated at more than 500 US dollars a month.