In parliament: Labour Ministry withdraws Work Permit Fees Regulations

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Deputy Labour Minister, Lansana Mohamed Dumbuya

By Alfred Koroma

The Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security has withdrawn the Work Permit Fees Regulations which was tabled in Parliament last month, the 25th January 2024.

The regulations proposed higher increment of work permit fees on NGOs and Corporate bodies operating in Sierra Leone.

The clumsy withdrawal of the regulations follows series of concerns against the increment from Labour and employment bodies such the Employers Federation, Labour Congress which work with the Ministry as a tripartite body in dealing with labour issues. 

The bodies were not consulted before the decision to increase the fees was made, leading to outrage in the labour and employment sector.

Withdrawing the instrument on Thursday 8 February, the Deputy Minister of Employment Labour and Social Security, Lansana Mohamed Dumbuya admitted they missed the steps, saying the decision to increase the work permit fees was not fully communicated with the bodies that works with the Ministry.

“That decision that gave us the authority before going to parliament was not fully communicated,” Dumbuya told the press in an interview. “Because of the steps we missed after laying the regulations, we have heard series of concerns.”

“If you look at the regulations we drafted, we say the NGOs should pay 5,000; the corporate bodies 34,700. Look at the gap,” he added, describing the regulations as unfair.

Dumbuya apologized to MPs on behalf of his boss, Mohamed Raman Swaray, Minister of Employment Labour and Social Security.

Responding to the Deputy Minister, Speaker of Parliament, Dr Abass Bundu said the Leadership of Parliament has equally been inundated by bodies from the Employers Federation who were raising concern about the increase of fees in the regulations. He advised the Ministry to widen the scope of consultation and embrace all those who were left out.

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