Thursday, April 22, 2021

Agric and mining biggest employers of precarious workers

Insecure and unstable work where people fill permanent jobs but are deprived of permanent employee rights are increasing in Botswana. Generally, such work entails lower salaries, unsteady employment, unsafe working conditions and they hardly receive social benefits.

An official from Statistics Botswana who spoke to this publication stated that most companies have now resorted to “employing people casually as this saves them from the costs that come with employing people on a permanent basis.”

He also singled out and named two sectors were this is prevalent. “The agriculture and mining sectors are the biggest sectors which employ such workers,” adding that this is on the increase.

Explaining this phenomenon, he said Botswana has a lot of people who are unemployed and are in a state of desperation. He said desperation is pushing people to accept anything that is thrown at them because it is hard to get by without any form of allowance or wages. “This is the reason why employers are taking advantage of this loophole,” he said.

A businessman in Gaborone, Gideon Kaodi said the casualisation of workers in the country is the fault of the government. “The government can resolve this issue by strengthening social dialogue where corrective action needs to be taken. For starters, government could stop precarious jobs by amending Botswana’s labour laws to protect those who do not receive stable salaries or benefits like medical aid,” he said.

In order to do away with the exploitation of workers, he said government should make sure that labour laws are properly enforced so that safe and secure jobs for people can thrive.

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