By Ishmael Dumbuya
The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security yesterday, 14th July, held an information sharing session on the reviews of labour laws.
The session was held at the China Friendly House in Freetown.
Chinese Deputy Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Li Xiaoyong applauded the meeting and called it a step in the right direction.
He said China and Sierra Leone have for a long time enjoyed bi-lateral relationship and stressed that the Labour Law Review was very important in ensuring a massive amount of confidence between the employers and employees.
He assured the gathering that if the laws are successfully passed, he would make it imperative on every staff within the Embassy to be aufait with the law.
He added that the Labour Law Review will create a better entrepreneurial culture and assured the gathering that the People’s Republic of China will continue working with Sierra Leone in the employment sector to enhance an effective and efficient productivity.
Alpha Timbo, Minister of Labour and Social Security appreciated the deputy ambassador for his passion in working with the ministry as well as representing the Chinese people dedicatedly.
Minister Timbo reiterated that Sierra Leone and China have experienced very long years of mutual rapport.
He stated that the Labour Law Review process was a continuation of a process that started long ago and added that as a government they were very much concerned about the well-being of employers and employees than any other administration.
He underscored that the New Direction Government under President Bio is rapidly enabling the growth of private sector as well as their social partners.
Minister Timbo underlined that almost every sector within Sierra Leone has aspects of Labour laws.
He encouraged social partners to be familiar with the Industrial Relation Act as a guide on employers and employees relationship.
He continued that it is his responsibility as a Minister to establish trade group councils as a way of creating a platform for engagements between workers and their employers.
He emphasized that education is an important tool in enhancing workers knowing their rights and responsibilities and that he will make the Labour laws are reviewed wherein new element will be added and old ones removed.
He summed up by stating that the Information Sharing will examine Regulation of Wages and Industrial Bills, General Business Start-up Act, Employment Bill, Overseas Migrants Act, and Factories Act of 1974.
The Economic and Commercial Counsellor in the Chinese Embassy, Du Zullin, said China over the years has massively invested in Sierra Leone.
Du Zullin praised the people of Sierra Leone for their hospitality and stated that Sierra Leone is a Market for China with Regard the timber logging because China is at the forefront of timber export in Sierra Leone.