Mother’s Day and Compassionate Leave!
By Dickson Jere
A South African client of mine is upset with Zambian Labour Laws!
“You have too many holidays in Zambia. But the nuisance is Mother’s Day which by coincidence my workers take it on Mondays”, he bemoaned.
“No warming at all! Just some extension of a weekend” he added.
I had to give him long lecture on how Zambian women fought for this right and deservedly won the battle and that is why Mother’s Day is recognized by law.
“Are you telling me we don’t have women in South Africa?” He asked after he attentively listened to my somewhat boring lecture.
He then jumped to another “nuisance”!
“Compassionate leave… everyday there is a funeral”, he shot again.
“How can you develop? You even attend funerals of your neighbors’ relatives …” he said, while looking puzzled.
“I don’t even know my neighbors myself,” he chuckled.
Other day, he said, one of his workers missed work because he had to attend burial of the uncle of the neighbor because the funeral was hosted right next door.
“But people die everyday…that is why we bury on weekends in South Africa,” he retorted.
I looked at him thinking that this man does not know that we even miss work to attend funerals of best friends of our late grandparents because we are morally expected to.
“Society will flown upon you when you miss funeral of your next door neighbor regardless of who died…” I hit back.
“Well, then forget about developing your country. Continue impressing society and attend all funerals for all you want my friend…” he nicely closed the debate!
And the abruptly end of this debate got me thinking – do we need to adjust our way of doing things as a country especially when it comes to funerals? Is it necessary to have full day funeral during week days – church service four (4) hours of preaching and then two (2) hours of burial- entire productive day gone! Six (6) solid hours!
And when you miss funerals “ati sayenda ku malillo uja…tizamuona akafa mwana wake”.
Blackmail of some sort!