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Powered by RSM: Rights and Obligations Under the Employment Contract

Powered by RSM: Rights and Obligations Under the Employment Contract

  • Ágata Chiconela • Head of Legal, RSM Mozambique

In November’s Business Consultancy Powered by RSM, we answer some questions about the rights and duties of employees and employers and the balance that must exist between the two so that organisations and their teams can build a harmonious path towards growth.

What are the employee’s rights under the labour contract?

Workers are entitled to equal rights at work, regardless of their ethnic origin, language, race, sex, marital status, age, within the limits set by law, social status, religious or political ideas and whether or not they are members of a trade union. They are also recognised as having rights that cannot be the subject of any transaction, waiver or limitation:

a) To be guaranteed a job in accordance with their abilities, technical and professional preparation, the needs of the workplace and the possibilities of national economic development;

b) To be guaranteed the stability of the job in which they perform their duties, under the terms of the employment contract, the collective labour regulation instrument and the legislation in force;

c) To be treated with propriety and respect, with any acts that harm their honour, good name, public image, private life and dignity being punishable by law;

d) To be remunerated according to the quantity and quality of the work they do;

e) To be able to compete for access to higher categories, depending on their qualifications, experience, results obtained at work, evaluations and the needs of the workplace;

f) Being guaranteed daily and weekly rest and paid annual leave;

The intention or not to commit the offence, as well as how it is committed, is of great importance when deciding what disciplinary sanction to apply to the worker

g) To benefit from appropriate protection, safety and hygiene measures at work to ensure their physical, moral and mental integrity;

h) Benefit from medical and medicinal assistance and compensation in the event of an accident at work or occupational illness;

i) To turn to the Labour Inspectorate or to the bodies of the labour jurisdiction whenever their rights are adversely affected;

j) To freely join professional organisations or trade unions, as provided for in the Constitution;

k) To benefit from adequate conditions of assistance in the event of incapacity and old age, in accordance with the law.

What are the employee’s rights and duties under labour law?

And what are your duties?

a) Attend work punctually and assiduously;

b) To carry out the work with zeal and diligence;

c) Respect and treat the employer, hierarchical superiors, co-workers and other people who are or come into contact with the company with propriety and loyalty;

d) Obey legal orders, instructions from the employer, their representatives or the employee’s hierarchical superiors and fulfil any other obligations arising from the employment contract, except those that are illegal or contrary to their rights and guarantees;

e) To use correctly and keep in good condition the goods and work equipment entrusted to them by their employer;

f) Maintain professional secrecy, under no circumstances divulging information regarding their organisation, production methods or the business of the company or establishment;

g) Not to use the company’s premises, equipment, goods, services and means of work for personal purposes or for purposes unrelated to the job, without the due authorisation of the employer or his representative;

h) To be loyal to the employer, namely by not negotiating on their own behalf or on behalf of others, in competition with the employer, as well as by collaborating to improve the safety, hygiene and health system at work;

i) To protect the workplace and production property from any damage, destruction or loss.

But the employer also has duties. What are they?

a) Respect the rights and guarantees of the worker by fully complying with all obligations arising from the employment contract and the rules governing it;

b) Ensure compliance with health and safety rules at work, as well as investigate the causes of accidents at work and occupational illnesses, adopting appropriate measures to prevent them;

c) Respect and treat the worker with correctness and urbanity;

d) To provide the worker with good physical and moral conditions in the workplace;

e) To pay the worker a fair wage according to the quantity and quality of the work done;

f) Assign the worker a professional category corresponding to the duties or activities he/she performs;

g) To maintain the professional category assigned to the worker by not lowering it, except in the cases expressly provided for by law or collective labour regulation instruments;

h) Keep the employee’s place of work and working hours unchanged, except in the cases provided for by law, the individual employment contract or collective labour regulation instruments;

i) Allow the worker to exercise trade union activity, without prejudicing him/her by the exercise of trade union positions;

j) Not oblige the worker to purchase goods or use services supplied by the employer or a person appointed by the employer;

k) Not to operate, for profit, cafeterias, canteens, crèches or any other establishments related to work, the supply of goods or the provision of services to workers.

If workers’ duties are not fulfilled, how can the company act?

In these cases, a Disciplinary Offence arises, i.e. any culpable behaviour on the part of the employee that violates their contractual professional duties. In other words, the employee can be punished “for doing what is forbidden” or “for failing to do what is due”.

But does intent count?

Yes. The intention or not to commit the offence, as well as the way in which it was committed, is of great importance when deciding what disciplinary sanction to apply to the employee.

In conclusion, the basis of the Disciplinary Power with regard to the application of disciplinary sanctions is based on the need to maintain order and discipline within the company.

And what sanctions can be imposed?

In legal terms, the employer can apply the disciplinary sanctions listed below, but it is not permitted to apply any other disciplinary sanctions, nor to aggravate those provided for by law, as well as in the collective regulation instrument, internal regulations or employment contract.

a) Verbal admonishment;

b) Recorded reprimand;

c) Suspension from work with loss of pay, up to a limit of ten days for each offence and thirty days in each calendar year (reasons must be given and the decision can be challenged within six months); d) Disciplinary action.

d) A fine of up to twenty days’ pay (reasons must be given and the decision can be challenged within six months);

e) Demotion to the next lower professional category; for a period not exceeding one year (must be substantiated and the decision can be challenged within six months);

f) Dismissal (must be substantiated and the decision can be challenged within six months).

In the next article we’ll talk about the different stages of the disciplinary process. Until then, if you have any questions or would like to find out more, please write to us:


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