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Labour disputes further escalate

The Institute of People Management Malawi (IPMM) has reported a rise in employer, employee disputes following the unstable economic environment which has seen most companies cutting down production levels, leaving most people outside the job market.

IPMM says it is partnering   with other institutions to try and research on the level of employee engagement processes in organisations in Malawi having discovered that lack of an engagement culture is behind the escalating labour disputes.

President of the Institute, Chrispin Chikwama, said it is important for organisations to find remedies to the problem suggesting that human capital is an asset which determines whether or not companies are able to realise their goals, be it profit maximization or effective service delivery.

“It is important for companies to motivate employees by engaging teams in business processes or decisions and to make sure that they create an enabling environment for people to fully realise their potential by, among  other things, offering people development opportunities.

“People talk about money, yes, but money is not everything. Looking at the current economic situation it is very unlikely that many companies will be able to offer big salary increments in the foreseeable future to avoid employee layoffs,” he said.

In an earlier interview, Chikwama said lack of proper regulation in the human resources sector has seen unqualified individuals practising human resources management but that their lack of skills to negotiate with employees has seen Malawi’s labour market rife with industrial disputes.

The Institute has since presented a draft bill seeking to govern the practice of human resources to government through the Department of Human Resource Management.

Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs is expected to scrutinise the proposed legislation before final steps are taken to have it tabled in Parliament.

IPMM has for the past three years been lobbying government to enact a law to guide the practice of human resources in Malawi.

The Bill is expected to pass through Parliament for approval and once passed,  will bring order to the human resources profession so that only qualified human resources practitioners will be allowed to practice.

The legislation will, among others, set clear guidelines on who can be employed as a human resources official, their functions and what qualifications they should possess inorder to be given mandate as human resources officials.

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