Time Trucking Limited Operations Suspended for Gross Labour Violations

In a resolute action taken by Zambia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Time Trucking Limited has been suspended from operations following a series of labour law violations.

This decision, as announced by Labour Commissioner Givens Muntengwa, is based on findings from a joint labour inspection and subsequent discussions with the company.

“The inspection revealed [multiple] contraventions,” stated Muntengwa in his official statement.

These include the absence of written employment contracts and non-compliance with Occupational Health and Safety standards.

Muntengwa’s statement highlighted that “[Some] employees at the company were not issued with contracts of employment in writing and there were no records of oral contracts,” a clear violation of the Employment Code Act No. 3 of 2019.

The report further disclosed the physical assault of a journalist by the Managing Director, Mr Umesh Patel.

The Labour Commissioner described this as an act that purposefully delayed and obstructed Labour Inspectors from performing their functions, a serious offence under the Employment Code Act.

Additionally, the company was found lacking in providing basic workplace amenities.

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“The toilets were noted to be very unsanitary for employees to use,” Muntengwa’s statement read, pointing out the inadequate facilities.

He also noted the absence of a proper canteen and the unhygienic conditions of the existing cooking area.

During the suspension, which took effect from January 2, 2024, “employees will be on full pay,” as per the Labour Commissioner’s directive.

Time Trucking Limited is also required to undertake several corrective measures, including ensuring all employees are registered for pension contributions with NAPSA and NHIMA, and improving sanitary conditions.

The company faces a fine of K210,000 (about R153 000) for its contraventions.

“Failure to comply with the Labour Commissioner’s directive means the director commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred thousand penalty units or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both,” Muntengwa warned.

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The Ministry’s firm stance highlights its commitment to upholding labour laws and safeguarding worker rights in Zambia.

Time Trucking Limited must comply fully and undergo another inspection to verify improvements before it can resume operations.

Disclaimer: This article is based on the statement issued by Labour Commissioner Givens Muntengwa. Efforts to reach Time Trucking Limited for their comments were unsuccessful at the time of publication.