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The Amended Public Service Act (07/05/10)
The Amended Public Service Act (07/05/10)

The amended Public Service Act No 30 of(2008) will commenced on Saturday 1st May 2010. The objective of this Act is to provide for a single legislation governing employment of all employees of Government.  The Act also provides for the establishment of Public Service Bargaining Structures and recognized Public Service trade unions to engage in negotiations and bargaining over issues which have been identified and are matters for negotiation.

Previously there were four pieces of legislation governing employment in the Public Service. These were the Public Service Act CAP 26:01, Unified Local Government Service Act, Teaching Service Act and Tribal Land Act Part II (a) to II (f). The use of these separate laws resulted in inconsistencies in the conditions of service and uncoordinated relationships between Government as an employer and some civil servants. The Act thus establishes a single public service; ensures consistent terms and conditions of employment for all government employees; and installs systematic collective bargaining processes.

Public Service Act No 30 of 2008 is a direct result of the ratification of three International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions by the Botswana Government in 1997. Subsequently, national labour laws were amended in 2004 to align them with the ILO Conventions following which Government appointed a Reference Committee comprising some public service unions, representatives from Government appointing authorities, Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs and Attorney Generals' Chambers to merge all employment legislations governing public employees.

Commenting on the Act, the Director of DPSM Mrs Festina Bakwena said "the Act complies with the ILO Conventions on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention; the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention; and the Labour Relations Convention which is a giant leap with regard to improving terms and conditions of service for Government employees."