An evaluation of the effectiveness of the labour arbitration system in Zimbabwe
Chanaka, Norman F
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The purpose of this dissertation was to explore, discover and draw conclusions on the effectiveness of the labour arbitration system in Zimbabwe. The general conclusion from reviewed literature is that for an arbitration system to be regarded as effective, the institutional and administrative framework should comprise of factors such as accessibility, speed, expertise, and cost. The vast majority of the literature reviewed showed that this literature has been confirmed in other parts of the world and hence the purpose of this research was to make an attempt and fill in this research gap by critically evaluating whether our labour arbitration system as currently structured is effective. The research information was aimed at benefiting the academic community and policymakers in the country. Empirical data was obtained through face to face interviews with practising lawyers, arbitrators, judges and other administrative staff within the labour arbitration fraternity in Harare. The total number of the respondents was twelve. Unstructured questions were used for gathering of in depth information from the respondents. A qualitative research philosophy was used and the data gathered was analyzed through data displays in the form of content analytic summary tables. The study concluded that as currently structured, the labour arbitration system in Zimbabwe was ineffective owing to several structural, institutional and administrative deficiencies. The study further found out that expertise of the arbitrators was questionable since there were no minimum guidelines on arbitrators’ qualifications. These questionable qualifications were leading to questionable arbitral awards leading to unnecessary appeals. The study further concluded that the recent capping of arbitrator fees would actually stifle its development as capable arbitrators would now most likely shun the work because of low reward. The clumsy manner in which the Labour Act was crafted was also contributing to frivolous and vexatious appeals to the Labour Court thereby impacting finality of arbitral awards. In view of these findings, it is recommended that the labour arbitration system must be overhauled and ensure that it is based on an institutional and administrative framework that comprises of all the pillars of an effective arbitration system.