The law should protect employees from all types of legal violations caused by the employer or the work environment, and employers’ rights should be recognized. According to Thompsons Solicitors (2017), workers in the United Kingdom are protected against being fired or arbitrarily selected for redundancy by the Employment Rights Act 1996. Unfair dismissal is legislative protection afforded to employees who think their employer has terminated them unjustly or irrationally (Thompsons Solicitors, 2017). The Acas Code of Practice contains critical information on the unfair dismissal and redundancy law. The Labour Act in Zimbabwe is similar to the Acas Code of Practice legislation in the UK. A worker may not be dismissed unless the dismissal follows the National Employment Code of Conduct, according to section 12B (4) of the Labour Act (Ruvimbo & Nyamayaro, 2022). Any dismissal carried out in violation of this clause represents an unfair dismissal, for which an employee may seek recourse in the form of reinstatement or payment of damages (Ruvimbo & Nyamayaro, 2022). Hence, employers may dismiss an employee under section 12B of the Labour Act if the employee has committed an act of misconduct that grounds dismissal.
The Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures is fair for employees and employers because it considers the rights of both parties and describes what reasonable and unfair reasons for dismissal are. Based on Thompsons Solicitors (2017), some dismissals are inevitably unfair, and the employee only needs to demonstrate that the termination was for one of the following grounds. For example, unjustified reasons for dismissal include membership or non-membership in a trade union or for trade union activity, health and safety, and pursuing legal action against the employer for violating specific statutory employment rights. Refusing to waive a request under the Working Time Regulations, attempting to enforce rights under the National Minimum Wage Act, or making a protected disclosure under whistleblower law are unreasonable justifications for terminating a worker (Thompsons Solicitors, 2017). Additionally, attempting to gain or prevent the recognition of an independent trade union, requesting to be accompanied during a grievance or disciplinary process, and participating in legitimate industrial action are all deemed unfair.
The employers’ rights are also stated clearly in the Acas Code of Practice. According to the law, employers may fire an employee for one of the following reasons: misconduct at work, a lack of competence or credentials to do the job, redundancy, or a legislative necessity (Thompsons Solicitors, 2017). Even if the employer persuades a Tribunal that they fired their employee for one of these reasons, they must still demonstrate that they acted reasonably. According to the legislation, there is an actual redundancy scenario if an employee is fired because the company where the individual worked has closed (Thompsons Solicitors, 2017). Similarly, redundancy is if the employer chooses to reduce the number of staff to perform a specific task.
Redundancy is a legitimate reason for businesses to dismiss a worker. Suppose the employee can demonstrate that their dismissal falls into one of these classifications. In that case, they may be eligible for a legal redundancy payout if they have had two or more years of continuous employment since the age of eighteen (Thompsons Solicitors, 2017). Moreover, workers have three months to file a claim if their employers refuse to pay their contract redundancy payment and six months if their statutory redundancy payment is not received. In Zimbabwe, redundancy is also a legitimate ground for dismissal; according to section 12C of the Labour Act, employers may retrench their employees for business-related grounds such as redundancy (Ruvimbo & Nyamayaro, 2022). Employers may be compelled by a collective agreement to compensate employees laid off due to redundancy (Panther Inc., n.d.). Severance pay is typically one month’s compensation for every two years of employment with the company.
Panther Inc. (n.d.). How to hire remote employees in Zimbabwe. Web.
Ruvimbo, M. T. L., & Nyamayaro, T. (2022). Employment & labour laws and regulations Zimbabwe. Web.
Thompsons Solicitors. (2017). Summary of the law on unfair dismissal and redundancy. Web.