HomeNewsGovt to bar civil servants from taking grievances directly to court

Govt to bar civil servants from taking grievances directly to court

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OUSTED Public Service minister Nicholas Goche just before his dismissal last week advised government to create a law barring civil servants from taking their employer to court without exhausting internal remedies.

PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
SENIOR REPORTER

Goche said direct appeals to the Labour Court or High Court based on procedural issues were draining Treasury of significant amounts in litigation costs.

“Members of the civil service must exhaust all the internal remedies before approaching the High Court on appeal,” Goche wrote to the Attorney-General.

“It has come to the attention of the commission that most members of the civil service no longer apply for review to the commission on their determination and penalty imposed by the disciplinary authorities and proceed straight to the Labour Court even on procedural issues that can be rectified on review.”

The dismissed minister added: “As a result government has been financially prejudiced because of litigation costs.”

Goche was proposing the changes in the suggested amendments to the Public Service Act as the government works towards harmonising labour laws.

“The Act should then provide that prior to a member’s appeal to High Court, they must satisfy the Court that they have exhausted all internal procedures laid out in the Act and Public Service Regulations,” he said.

The changes will also see the repealing of section 26 of the Public Service Act that provides that members of the civil service can appeal to the Labour Court if they were aggrieved by a determination or penalty of a disciplinary authority.

In its place Goche suggested that civil servants aggrieved by a verdict reached or penalty imposed on them may appeal against such on a point of law only to the High Court.

Goche has since been replaced by Prisca Mupfumira. Government was recently dragged to the Constitutional Court by aggrieved police officers who argued they had been tortured and humiliated during what the police termed a “retraining exercise”.

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