President, Mokgweetsi Masisi has pointed out the need to invest in social protection systems and occupational health and safety.
When delivering his speech on commemoration of International Labour Day, Masisi said that although the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines has renewed hope for economic recovery as projections indicate a robust economic recovery for the second half of 2021, one of biggest lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic is that, there is a critical need to invest in social protection systems and occupational health and safety.
“To that effect, through the Botswana Decent Work Country Programme (BDWCP), work has commenced to develop a National Occupational Health and Safety Policy to enhance the existing social protection provisions.”
Masisi also mentioned that government was working on a social protection framework to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the economy which include continuous engagement with companies to assist them to find alternative ways of avoiding job losses.
He noted that these measures have been made to safeguard the interests of both the employer and employees during this difficult period in our nation’s history.
“As we commemorate this very important day in our Labour calendar, we are also reminded of the contribution and dedication that men and women in our country have made to improve our economy over the years. We are also reminded that it is people who are the key drivers for any economic transformation we want to pursue as a nation.”
He said that they have committed themselves through National Vision 2036, to be a high income country with an export led economy underpinned by diversified, inclusive and sustainable growth driven by high levels of
“I am aware of the state of affairs regarding some labour relations issues in the country like the full implementation of the Decent Work Country Program (BDWCP) and the delayed resuscitation of the Public Service Bargaining Council.”
The President said that he was reliably informed that, despite the plethora of past challenges and obstacles, there was hope for the Bargaining Council.
Under the guidance of a mutually agreed upon independent facilitator, the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) together with all Public Service Unions have been engaging each other in a spirit of mutual respect and good faith.
“I am further informed that the parties have resolved to seek expert advice from the ILO to address outstanding issues in order to complete the task of resuscitating the Council,” he said.
He added that the ongoing review of our labour laws such as the Employment Act, the Public Service Act and the Trade Disputes Act, to align them with international labour standards, will go a long way in creating decent work for our people.
He said that this will also pave way to effectively address issues such as fair income, equal opportunities for both men and women in the work place, security and protection in the work place. “This work further re-affirms our commitment as Government to better the lives of Batswana.”