Mr Ebrima Garba Cham of the Trade Union said about 90 per cent of the workers in The Gambia, particularly in the private sector, are working without proper employment contracts.
The Labour Act states that it is mandatory for employers to give to every employee a written statement of particulars of employment but Mr Cham said the majority of employers are violating the provision of the Act.
“I have seen some workers who are working for about 20 to 30 years without proper employment contracts,” Mr Cham said on Thursday during the commemoration of Workers Day. The event was organised by the National Sports Council in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress.
Mr Cham questioned how without proper employment contracts stipulating the terms and conditions governing the employment, employees could fight for their rights in cases where they are violated by the employer?
Too high to be true
Minister Abdou Kolley said he was aware of the fact that some employees, mainly in the private and informal sectors, could be employed without proper employment contracts but to say that it is 90 per cent could be too high to be true.
“I refute those statistics,” Kolley told the trade union SG. “As a national institution, you should be checking your statistics before giving them to the public.”
However, speaking to The Standard on the sidelines of the event, Mr Cham maintained that his statistics were accurate.
“We are having our facts, we don’t say something we don’t have facts about because we are always careful about libel and slander [laws in the country].
“Now, let the minister form an inspection taskforce and we go round institutions. That will prove it. We are on the ground and we know what is on the ground. He is not on the ground…”
Mr Cham further said aside from lack of issuance of employment contracts, most of the employers do not give pay-slips when paying their employees at the end of the month. And this is also against the provision of the labour laws in the country which state that employees are entitled to a pay statement to indicate the breakdown of their salaries.
By Lamin Jahateh