Business News of Sunday, 8 March 2015
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is calling on government to extend laws regulating the formal sector to the informal sector and ensure they are implemented to the letter.
This, the TUC says will ensure a more organized sector, which can greatly contribute to building Ghana’s economy.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of a regional congress on the informal sector organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the former, the General Secretary of the TUC, Kofi Asamoah said the move will also help government in its tax revenue collection.
“This suggestion, if regulated appropriately, can improve upon even what it contributes to GDP. It will help government in even collecting its taxes,” Asamoah said.
In a formal sector, the employee has a formal contract with the employer, pre-defined work conditions and job responsibilities.
He gets an assured and decent fixed salary with perks and incentives, and has a fixed duration of work time. He is also covered by a social security for health and life risks.
However in the informal sector, the employee is not entitled to such privileges.
Kofi Asamoah therefore asked government to ensure that “the major things that are provided in the formal economy, can be extended to cover the kind of recognition needed to regulate the informal economy.”
Implement laws governing formal sector
Employees in the formal sector have on several occasions threatened to embark on strike due to the non payment of their arrears and the non-fulfilment of other privileges they are entitled to.
In July 2014, Organised Labour gave government a two-week ultimatum to transfer funds into the various public sector pension schemes or face their wrath.
They threatened to embark on a strike if government fails to address their grievances.
In September 2014, Organised Labour again gave government a two-week ultimatum to pay funds under the new pension scheme.
The group said attempts to get government to transfer their monies from the Temporary Pension Fund Account managed by the National Pensions Regulatory Authority to their independent fund managers have proved futile.
Proferring solutions to these challenges, Mr. Asamoah emphasized the need for government to implement laws governing the formal economy, saying “how do we get all the laws that are governing the formal economy extended effectively to that sector.”
According to him, formal economy workers should have access to some privileges such as pensions etc to ensure that “they don’t become a liability to the state” when they grow old.