The effect of investment on employee rights in Zambia: Casualisation of labour

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When the Movement for Multiparty Democracy government, led by Fredrick Chiluba, came into power in 1991, they liberalised the economy. The government privatised state owned businesses with the aim of creating a free market economy which led to an inflow of foreign investors who were able engage in trade. Upon privatising the companies government's intention was that jobs would be created for many Zambians. This was to be achieved by decentralising the many parastatals and making them more specialized on their work. Subsequently this resulted in a large scale of retrenchments and lay-off of workers arising from restructuring of companies and also due to closure of ineffective enterprises that were not able to withstand foreign competition. The post liberalisation policies have consequently proved to be futile as they have not achieved the aims for which they were intended for. Instead the policies have negatively impacted on the rights of employees as the investors have been constantly engaging their employees as casuals to avoid meeting some statutory obligations that every employer ought to adhere to. This paper examines the casualisation problem in Zambia with the view to ascertain whether the rights of employees are adequately protected under the Zambian Legal framework.
Casual labor--Zambia , Employee rights