Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Government to react against faulted recruitment agencies
THE Government is in place to take legal action against recruitment agencies in the country who have defied the order which requested them to submit their particulars for scrutiny as announced earlier in late January this year. Report from the Ministry of Labour and Employment has confirmed to the guardian earl this week that, only few agencies out of over 60 have not responded to the government order. Over a month ago, the government issued an ultimatum to the recruitment agencies in the country to submit their particulars with a view to verify whether they are operating legally or not. The move aimed to improve workers conditions following speculations that some agencies were manipulating status of their employees an aspect that denied their legal rights including poor remunerations and violation of work rules resulting into the loss of taxes to the treasury. Speaking in an exclusive interview through telephone early this week, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Labour and Employment Eric Shitindi confirmed to the Guardian that, the government is working on the modalities to put to task those agencies who have for no any apparent reasons have defied its order. Investigations carried out by the Guardian over the matter for the last two weeks, has discovered that there are some employment agencies which in one way or another are still putting the final touches to accomplish the government request, while others could not be in a position to respond when contacted for comments. In an exclusive interview with this paper, an officer from Radar recruitment agency who could not identify herself said in a telephone interview that they were collaborating with the officials at the Ministry’s headquarter despite the deadline of the ultimatum has expired. However, General Manager for Proactive Employment Solutions (PES) could not be reached for more comments when contacted by telephone. On January 27th this year the government through the Ministry of labour and Employment banned and ordered recruitment agencies that operate in the country illegally to register at the ministry within one month. The ban follows long overdue complaints from workers accusing recruitment agencies of exploitation and denying them their rights and other benefits they are entitled to in their work places as they are forced to remain in contract with the agencies even after securing employment. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Gaudentia Kabaka noted that most of them violated the Labour Relations Act of 2004 and other related country laws. Kabaka noted that the agencies’ recruitment procedures make the government lose a lot of revenue from employees. She said workers in the country contribute to government revenues through the Pay as You Earn (PAYE) but those in contract with the agencies don’t pay tax. Moreover, she noted that for the past three years one of the recruiting agencies has denied the government over 3bn/- which was to be paid as tax to the government.