Botswana to develop occupational health and safety policy

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People queue outside a supermarket in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, April 2, 2020. Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared a state of emergency following confirmation of three coronavirus cases in that country. He has also announced a lockdown beginning on April 2 for 28 days. (Xinhua/Tshekiso Tebalo)
People queue outside a supermarket in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, April 2, 2020. Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has declared a state of emergency following confirmation of three coronavirus cases in that country. He has also announced a lockdown beginning on April 2 for 28 days. (Xinhua/Tshekiso Tebalo)

As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines has renewed hope for economic recovery, there is a need to invest in social protection systems in Botswana.

One of the biggest lessons learnt from COVID-19 pandemic is that there is a critical need to invest in social protection systems and occupational health and safety, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said on Saturday.

“Through the Botswana Decent Work Country Programme, work has commenced to develop a National Occupational Health and Safety Policy to enhance the existing social protection provisions,” said Masisi in a statement on the occasion of the commemoration of International Labor Day.

Furthermore, the southern African country’s government is working on a social protection framework to mitigate the effects of the deadly COVID-19 on its economy which includes continuous engagement with companies to assist them to find alternative ways of avoiding job losses, he said.

Masisi said these measures have been made to safeguard the interests of both the employer and employees during “this difficult period in our nation’s history.”

To avoid job losses, Masisi said Botswana declared the State of Emergency which prohibited businesses from carrying out retrenchments or dismissal of employees.

International Labor Organization estimated that 114 million jobs were lost in 2020, translating to a global labor income decline of 8.3 percent which amounts to 3.7 trillion U.S. dollars. Enditem

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