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Zambia - Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints

Avenues for redress (penalties, remedies) and litigation procedure for individual complaints - Zambia - 2019    

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Compensation for unfair dismissal - free determination by court: Yes

  • Sec. 85A ILRA: The Industrial Relations Court may award damages or compensation for loss of employment.
    See also sec. 108 ILRA on discriminatory dismissals and 5 (5) ILRA on dismissal in connection with trade union activities.

Compensation for unfair dismissal - Legal limits (ceiling in months or calculation method):
When the competent labour officer decides that the circumstances of the case do not warrant summary dismissal, the employee so dismissed in entitled to "payment of severance benefits" of not less than 2 months basic pay for each completed year of service" (MWCEGO sec. 12(3) and MWCESO: sec. 11(3)).

Reinstatement available: Yes

  • See sec. 85A ILRA and 108 ILRA.
    - Sec. 85A ILRA (general powers of the Industrial Relations Court): The Court may "make an order for reinstatement, re-employment or re-engagement".
    - Sec. 108(3)b) ILRA (discriminatory dismissals): "The Court shall, if it finds in favour of the complainant:
    a) grant to the complainant damages or compensation for loss of employment;
    b) make an order for re-employment or reinstatement in accordance with the gravity of the circumstances of each case"

Preliminary mandatory conciliation: No

  • No preliminary mandatory conciliation.
    However, optional conciliation is foreseen in rule 46 of the Industrial Relations Courts Rules (annexed in the ILRA) which states that:
    "In exercising its powers under these Rules, the Court may, whether by adjourning any proceedings or otherwise, use its best endeavours to ensure that, in any case in which it appears to the Court that there is a reasonable prospect of agreement being reached between the parties, they are enabled to avail themselves of the services of conciliation officers or of other opportunities for conciliation".

Competent court(s) / tribunal(s): labour court

  • See sec. 85 (4), 85A and 108 ILRA.
    The Industrial Relations Court has jurisdiction over matters specified under the ILRA, such as termination on the grounds of trade union membership or activity and on discriminatory grounds which shall be made within 30 days of the termination (sec. 108 ILRA).
    According to sec. 85(4), ILRA, the court also has jurisdiction to "hear and determine any dispute between any employer and an employee notwithstanding that such dispute is not connected with a collective agreement or other trade union matter". Complaints must be made within 30 days of the event complained of, unless leave is obtained (sec. 85 ILRA).

Existing arbitration: No