Promoting good working relationship at workplaces

Monday, September 26, 2016

The umbrella body of the private sector in The Gambia has again completed a vigorous training exercise on the labour laws of the country to put employees and employers up to speed with the nitty-gritty of the law.

In addition to the training on the country’s labour law it held last month (August), the Gambia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Agriculture and Employers’ Association (GCCI) held another training this month (September 2016), which included the second batch of employees and employers trained on the country’s labour laws.

This strategic move taken by the private sector apex body demonstrates the importance of the country’s labour laws and the seriousness the GCCI attaches to the understanding of the subject by the workforce of this country.

It cannot be really overemphasised that the problems of labour laws are all over the corridors of many workplaces in this country, which many a time end up in legal tussles that go in favour of either party – the employer or the employee.

These cases cause a lot of stress for both parties, as they consume time, energy and huge financial resources for especially corporate bodies/employers.

Considering this situation, the GCCI, as a responsible private sector apex body, decided to level the ground to ensure a friendlier relationship and common understanding between employers and employees, so that even where there is separation between the two parties, bridges would not be broken.

The Chamber in its wise sailing, first of all prepared a guide book called The GCCI Employers’ Guide on the Labour Laws of The Gambia, which catalogues various Acts and aspects that are pertinent to labour services in The Gambia. These include the Labour Act 2007, Women’s Act 2010, Social Security Act 2010, Injuries Compensation Fund Act 1990, The Ombudsman Act 1997, Children’s Act 2005, and Public Service Act 1991.

Also explained in it are the roles of dispute resolution stakeholder institutions, procedures, and mechanisms for mediation and arbitration, and the collective roles dispute resolution stakeholder institutions can play in helping settle commercial disputes.

These are essential aspects that should be known by all employers, as well as employees, in this country for there to be common understanding and good working relationship at workplaces.

So taking the responsibility of providing a guide book on labour laws and equipping the employers and employees with such a knowledge is a giant effort that needs commendation.

Therefore, the GCCI, in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation and Emanic Consulting Company Ltd, deserves a tap on the back for this laudable initiative in the country.

“Generally Labour Legislations are constructively fortified with the goal of revitalizing the socio-economic fabric of the country through their malleable yet firm provisions, which hypothetically works its way through harmonizing the relationship between employer and employee.”

Henrieta Newton Martin