Breaking: Supreme Court in another shock ruling

THE Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has made another landmark labour ruling giving employers the right to withdraw employees’ allowances and benefits saying these were not a right or entitlement.

This comes barely 14 days after the same court gave the employer the right to terminate workers’ contracts and offload them at three months’ notice without having to pay retrenchment packages.

In a judgment delivered at the Supreme Court, in a matter involving the National Railways of Zimbabwe against all its employees’ associations who were demanding payment of outstanding housing and educational allowances, the court said the NRZ had no obligation to pay such allowances since issues of allowances were based on collective bargaining agreements.

“The appellant’s (NRZ) position at all times was that it preferred to negotiate on basic salaries and not allowances. In my view both the Labour Court and the Arbitrator ought to have found that the allowances, not having been negotiated by the parties and therefore not forming part of their collective bargaining agreement, were not a right or entitlement for appropriation by the respondents,” the court said.

“They (allowances) cannot be imposed by the arbitrator, or indeed any court, in the same way that a court cannot write a contract for the parties. What occurred in this case was totally improper. The Labour Officer, the Arbitrator and the labour Court all missed the point.”

46 Responses to Breaking: Supreme Court in another shock ruling

  1. Stephen Garayi Nyamwanza i July 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    The Supreme Court need People with Labor law. knowledge no worker has ever succeeded on labor law at the Supreme Court.

  2. Ensign July 27, 2015 at 2:30 pm #

    Finally normalcy is on its way back. It may be painful, but this is how normal countries operate. No more paying people ridiculous amounts for nothing. We cannot carry on using a labour law that was set out in 1985 in 2015. That is backward. We should be looking at labour laws that are concurrent with the socio-economic circumstances.

    • Mushavi July 27, 2015 at 10:32 pm #

      I agree 100%. Normal countries do not operate like that. Growing pains I guess.

    • takurafy August 7, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      No more n e c yeah

  3. Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof) July 27, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    In most countries employers have abandoned giving benefits to workers to a system where a salary is given under the cafeteria system. The worker will decide how to use the salary. In this country most companies are removing benefits such as company cars and fuel allowances for executives. This is the global trend.

    • Shelz July 27, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      Cde Mzvinavhu , your knowledge about these global trends is scanty and you have demonstrated not only your ignorance but also your idiocy .

      I ave been to the USA , UK , China , Egypt and recently the SA and Zambia and have been asking as well as observing these issues .

      these economies have adopted what is called “full cost to the employer” or ” total cost to employer’ where they pay the employee their gross salary and will deduct only amounts that are statutory like PAYE .

      No allowances and those other funny names will appear on the payslip and this has been mistaken by people like you to mean that these companies dont pay allowances .

      further to that , they pay their employees salaries that are above the poverty datum line unlike what your filthy poorly governed and failing companies are doing in Zimbabwe , where they pay executives tens of thousands in return for loses and negative returns on investment and pay very little to the shop-flow worker who does the actual job

      It is a pity that people like you might be employed in positions of strategic importance to sit on boards to discuss about retrenching and your allowances and then get paid for that shit

      • Reliance July 27, 2015 at 5:50 pm #

        You have issues!

        • wezhira July 28, 2015 at 11:02 am #

          true dat. they are giving power to the already powerful capitalists!! no mercy for the modern worker,,, after being exploitated of their man power they are just dumped without even a whiff of appreciation,,, how arbitrary…and sad
          only an inhumane person would sideline with such a sad breakthrough in our law.
          #mushandi ndimambo as the legendary system tazvida said…

    • Shelz July 27, 2015 at 3:30 pm #

      these economies believe in giving the employee the right to chose what to do with their money , what investments to make unlike your country that decides ” school fees allowance , Housing Allowances ” etc and at times going as far as making efforts to make sure that these allowances are used for that purpose

  4. wezhira July 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    nothing wrong here its fair……..igore rekudzidza uye kudzidza hakuperi….even bonus its not mandatory,its not employer’s obligation again to reward u with a wapenga nayo bhonimbi ……tati mugare madzidzà futi ipapo

  5. The court is right July 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    The court is right On this one. No allowance, just your salary.

  6. Majoni July 27, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    Thats a fair and just ruling coz NRZ has been failing to pay its employees owing to viability constraints,how then can it be able to pay the said benefits amidst stiff competition in the transport industry?Conspicuously,the transport industry is operating under perfect competition hence NRZ seems to have been booted out.

  7. Gerry July 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

    Check check check check check

  8. Edwin Gwiriri July 27, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    Crazy

  9. Biti July 27, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    Its a pity when Newspapers / Journalists describe a very legally sound ruling as shocking (!!!)

    • ndaziva July 27, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

      I agree. People don’t seem to understand how the law works, or how it comes to be for that matter and instead of the media being a source of education, they negatively sentimentalize court rulings. It’s pathetic.

  10. sydney zulu July 27, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

    Gore rezvidzidzo

  11. maita July 27, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

    In other words a contract between a worker and his employer is no longer valid. If I have a contract which gives me those allowances, how is this nullified? lawyers can something be explained to us he laymen.

    • Drudge Report July 27, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

      Not quite. The supreme court ruling says if there’s no contract in regards to allowances then you have no entitlement. In this case the nrz had no contract with employees in regard to allowances.

      So the court is saying we cannot write a contract for the arbitrators. Pedzeranai ikoko.

      However, where there’s a contract the employer is still bound by the agreement.

  12. maita July 27, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    Unemployment in Zimbabwe coupled by the economy which has gone into a deep ravine, employers no longer gives a damn about employees because they are no longer special. When the economy is revived those allowances will be paid by companies which need its experienced and skilled staff. But it is a long walk to freedom.

    • gift July 29, 2015 at 6:30 am #

      you are the only one who can ready understand english.

  13. gidi mhoro July 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    a better headline would have done better. is this shocking

  14. Mhosva July 27, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    Its the Gvt speaking

  15. gunguwo July 27, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    Eish!! So have they thought about the difference between an employee who was given a full package before the ruling and the employee who will get nothing after the ruling! I thought a contract would contain everything about work conditions and those of termination.

    It’s true for us Zimbos igore rekudzidza and for the ruling party igore rekudzidzira kutonga. Pakaipa kani!!

  16. Tawanda Wezhira July 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Ya, labour matters have never been fair.All along workers were having the last laugh because of the protection that the Labour ACt provided, but to me this was killing the companies survival because vanhu vakanga vasisashandi and giving 100%,(i am generalizing).Coupled with the fact that there was/is economic mismanagement by the powers that be, as well as corruption, the equation became even more complicated. In the past the companies belonged to the whites, by and large.
    And now this ruling about 3 months notice and allowances…!!! Its not everybody who is sad because of these developments. Most politicians in the ruling ‘cabal’ are happy, why? because they are now the owners of the remaining industries and factories so they wont have to pay much to the long suffering masses, so it suits them, varikuchema anonzi macrocodile tears vachinyepera kuita sympsthise with the masses.Ndivo maEmployers acho so the rulings dzeSupreme Court are very welcome kwavari, after all they had long started making noise about ‘labour law reform’, and’ labour flexibility’, what did you think that meant? Ngwaraiwo hama dzangu!!

  17. Chinooooo July 27, 2015 at 5:08 pm #

    Mhoroi vanhu vese. We died for this cantri , this is ZIM ASS ET

  18. mkanya July 27, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    igore rekudzidza uye ndadzidza kuti even if u don’t pay above poverty datum line u can also remove the benefits.

  19. wengai July 27, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Government has found a mischievous way to offload all labour debts that they owe to millions of workers employed in government controlled parastatals. Moreover most new “Varungu” are government ministers who are struggling to pay their farm labourers, it is therefore easily deductable that Zanu Pf is manipulating labour laws as they suit.

  20. Shelz 2 July 27, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Shelz, your problem is assuming that you know countries by simply arriving at their airports, get taken to some hotel and spend a day or two doing stupid things and move elsewhere and then assume you know those countries. if I were you I would shut up and let those who know debate on those countries. when did we start calling other people idiots on public media? maybe your problem is these countries you are going to. In Zimbabwe we respect each other

  21. FATHER July 27, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Most of these cases are just a matter of ignorance of law. This has been the position ever since. The judges are just telling the workers the legal position.

  22. Stokoninzi July 27, 2015 at 6:58 pm #

    Labor is the platform that gave Morgan his momentum and non of these rulings will affect rural folk that much but you urban ignoramuses. The judiciary has been most competent at passing judgements that favor Robert especially where Chidyausiku is involved. Now if you thought collective bur gaining was your way kiss it good buy Labor is opposition and opposition must be killed. Two million Jobs are two million jobs loses. You will not vote for them? you can go and hang like all the vendors Nikuv is a complete voter. Start your own firms and you will realise how magnanimous the rulings are. at Gushing holdings we use different set of rules.

  23. mukenj July 27, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    True its pity that we Zimbaz we have never taken time to learn the law.that is same reason why banks are capitalizing on default judgements and looting interest money tgey dont deserve.Cry beloved country

    • Tawanda Wezhira July 27, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      These companies belong to the Black political elite irikutonga so the new ruling suits them big time like one writer correctly observed, saka zvikwereti zvirikuitwa written off, havangakoni kufara, yet these guys will appeal kunevanhu vadzingwa mabasa for votes come 2018 and the same people vaitwa laid off will vote the same guys who are dismissing them from work. Never stop to be amazed!!

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  25. martz July 27, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    heheede…welcome knowledge industry!! Sharpen your skills so that u remain relevant!!!

  26. FARAI ZHOU July 27, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    karl marx was right in his social class analysis. he lost the plot when he gave communism as a solution. workers must know where the real power lies especially in an environmemt where there is mass unemployment. labour is easily expendable. go on strike and lose it all.

  27. APPEALANT July 27, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    Cant this issue also be taken up to the Constitutional Court?

  28. Chipangamazano July 28, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    This is a sound judgment, the courts can enforce a contract which the parties have agreed to, if there is no contract, a court is not expected to make one for them and enforce it. however it is absurd that our economy is so bad that the workers are paid below poverty datum line and these benefits were helping them a lot. Only a few will make it in this long walk to freedom.

  29. n0ble nk0m0 July 28, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    This C0urt is t0tally biased,they c0ndemn judgements frm Arbitrrati0n and Lab0ur c0urt and judge in fav0ur 0f empl0yer.it sh0ws that they receive bribes frm empl0yer.I’m angry with this c0urt,there is n0 justice at supreme c0urt.

  30. ishe July 28, 2015 at 10:53 am #

    lke you said normal countries, is Zimbabwe a normal country looking at it now, nxaaa

  31. Mandingo July 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    There is nothing shocking about this ruling. It was always a common thing that benefits were usually paid at discretion of the company and were thus not mandatory. In the banking sector it was always the case that they clearly separated salary and other benefits that were discretionary implying management could withdraw them at anytime.

  32. pettz July 29, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    unogona kumuka wakaenda kumba shuwa gore rino rezvidzidzo

  33. Gurundoro August 7, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    we are all too used to the generous packages, allowances and bonuses of days gone so we all took it that we were legally entitled to these. Now that we have been educated let’s move forward the wiser. no employer enjoys firing people (it spells downsize). no employer should be forced to keep people when it’s not economically viable to do so. people should plan their lives and use salaries wisely whilst still employed. liberalisation of the labour market is a good thing in the long term

  34. takurafy August 7, 2015 at 8:54 pm #

    You gv a job watomujeri

  35. kagurabadza August 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

    I think it is now tym for change chinja maitire ayo pliz

  36. kagurabadza August 7, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

    I lost my job come election kana mukabira hamuhwinhi i swear maruza vapambe pfumi taiti takavana rusununguko izvo hapana viva viva viva election
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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