Directorate of International Relation and Advice - MoL
Division for International Relations and Advice
The division reside under the Office of the Permanent Secretary was established in 1996, out of a need to co-ordinate international and development co-operation within the Ministry. It deals primarily with international and regional organisations and institutions responsible for labour , employment and social affairs.
At the international level, the Division manages relations with the International Labour Organisation. This also applies to the ILO structures and offices in the region. Structures such as that of the Southern African Multidisciplinary Teams based in Harare, Zimbabwe. This is where experts / expertise on employment policies and labour standards is housed and sought.
At the regional level, the Division is responsible for relating internationally with the Organisation of African Unity, the OAU on labour, employment and social affairs. It is the contact of the Ministry on OAU Labour and Social Affairs Commission, which is a tripartite Commission, consisting of senior officials of ministries of labour, employment and social affairs, and leaders of employers' and workers' organisations. Relations with the Southern African Community on employment and labour and hence, the SADC Employment and Labour Sector Co-ordinating Unity, based in Lusaka, Zambia and the African Labour Training Centre which is based in Harare are also managed and co-ordinated by this Division.
This goes as far as functions are concerned, but what does the division do.
Structurally, the division has five sub-divisions;
|Media and public relations,
|Legal Advice and Exemptions
|Labour Advisory Council
Regarding the ILO and its field structures, the division ensures the adherence by Namibia to the ILO Constitution. Specific functions include:
Co-ordination of the International Labour Conference
The Conference takes place once a year, in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to the Conference, the division ensures that reporting obligations on International Labour standards or conventions that Namibia has ratified and those that she has not ratified but are due for reporting are complied with (In the next issue the reader would be informed of conventions that Namibia has ratified).
Liaison with Employers and Workers
Informing the most representative organisations of employers and workers of new developments in the world of work, be it ILO programmes, bilateral or multilateral related developments that affect the rights of the workers and even those that would effect better co-operation between the Ministry/Government and its social partners. This is done through formal employers and workers relations. Of late, a new function on public and media liaison has been added, of which the News Letter is an outcome.
Management and Co-ordination of Social Dialogue and Tripartite Consultation
The division houses the Secretariat of the Labour Advisory Council, whose main function is to advise the Minister of Labour in relation to formulation and implementation of national policies relating to basic conditions of employment, on matters pertaining to collective bargaining, amendment or application of the law relating to labour matters, and enactment of legislation concerning labour and employment.
The division provides secretariat services to the Council. It co-ordinates implementation of the decisions of the Council and co-ordinates and prepares reports relating to the functions and operations of the Council.
This being a new role of the division since the approval of the new structure of the Ministry on October last year, legal advice would be serviced to the Ministry regarding matters that would require the Minister to approve exemptions, both in terms of the labour Act (Overtime approval for employers) and the Affirmative Action Act (understudy). Other services would include legal services on implementing, compliance to and reporting on international labour standards, operations of the Council and general legal advice to the Ministry.
Knowing whom to contact or look for, a deputy director heads the division, assisted by a control labour relations officer, two chief labour relations officers and a labour relations officer.
Ms. Meriam Nicodemus