The Principal Secretary for Labour and Skills Development Shadrack Mwadime is leading a team from the National Labour Board in a comparative learning mission in South Africa.
The PS disclosed that the mission has been necessitated by the fact that Kenya’s Labour Laws enacted in 2007 are in many ways out of touch with the current realities and dynamics of the labour market, and are therefore in dire need of review.
He also indicated that the Labour Institutions established by the same statutes need to be reformed. Mwadime, who is representing the Cabinet Secretary for Labour and Social Protection Florence Bore, believes Kenya has a lot to learn from South Africa in this regard, especially given its vibrant Labour administration system.
He said the Government of South Africa has progressive Labour Institutions that have strong structures that will enable the Board to learn and possibly borrow ideas that will strengthen Kenya’s National Labour Board and enhance its effectiveness.
“In the spirit of Übuntu” and Pan Africanism we come to South Africa for Comparative Learning, for we believe that South Africa encountered the same challenges and risen successfully to deal with the same. Your experience and lessons have been useful in helping us chart our path,” he said
He added; “The set of labour laws that are currently operative in Kenya were greatly influenced by your own (South Africa’s) experience and laws. This was made possible through the support of the International Labour Organization, who have once more come through to support this Mission,”
He said the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently took the Board through an initial sensitization of what it needs to do and developed an Action Plan which has contributed to firming up the plan of the Board.
The National Labour Board is a key institution, and whose functionality impacts greatly on the performance of the labour market. The Board is the principal advisory organ of the Government on all matters of labour and employment.
It is responsible for advisory services to the government on the development of labour policies and legislation as well as administration. This includes matters such as ratification of International Labour Standards and treaties, labour relations and trade unionism, inspectorate service, industrial relations, vocational and labour training, work injury benefits, labour migration, and productivity among others.
“We look forward to learning from NEDLAC which is similar to our Board and learn what measures will we put in place to make our Board more efficient and effective in carrying out its mandate,” said the PS
“We hope to learn from practices and systems of other Labour Administration Systems in South Africa like the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), and Collective Bargaining Agreement Councils among others to enhance our social dialogue, employment equity and enforcement of labour standards,” said the PS