The BWI affiliate in Mauritius, CMWEU in coordination with its national centre CTSP commemorated World Day for Decent Work (WDDW) on 5 October ahead of the official day of 7 October. This year’s event celebrated this year’s historic achievement of the repeal of the Employment Rights Act. In its place, the Workers’ Rights Act was enacted due to the strong trade union lobbying campaign.
The new Workers’ Right Act is an updated modern and comprehensive legislative framework with a view to addressing the shortcomings of the old legislation and to promote decent work and sustainable development of the emerging forms of work.
Due to this Act, which will go into effect from January 2020, workers in the construction sector will receive a wage increase of 22 percent. In addition, women workers in the landscaping sector willl now be covered under construction remuneration order. This represents a 50 percent wage increase for the female workers.
The new labour law guarantees also guarantees compensation for terminated workers regardless of the reason. The employer will be bound to pay compensation for past years of service, which will now be portable and paid, based on a monthly contribution in a Portable Retirement Fund.
Jane Ragoo the President of CMWEU outlined positive elements of the new legislation. He stated, “The new Workers’ Right Act will protect workers against discrimination by expanding the definition of ‘discrimination’ to include impairment and different treatment where a worker performing the same or similar work is employed by a subsidiary company or a parent company. It will also protect workers against precarious employment by restricting a fixed term contract to a work of a temporary nature in Mauritius.”