Today as Maldives struggles to keep pace with the developing countries with the many challenges facing our nation at this vulnerable time in its history, many of us are sincerely concerned about the national, economic and social issues within our community.
Much of it relates to
the rising political turmoil within the country.
As most of the issues focused by the media and through other channels today is related to the political atmosphere within our nation. The sheer amount of people involved in the political movements within the country is surprisingly high. Political movements have become a current trend. It has engaged a lot of the youth within our society who had been unemployed and seeking an opportunity to get themselves occupied with something to do.
Authorities had so far failed to address the issue at its entailed gravity. Youth ministry had previously started a project to create a platform to connect job seekers to the job market through a website. The project was an ambitious effort but it is questionable how much research was done before coming up with the plan.
Some major companies operating within the Maldives had already opted apprentice programs to employ youth to their firms through training as the Maldivian education system is not accustomed to cater for the job environment.
All these young people have their eyes set on hunting for a suitable job. Most of them imagine their life behind an office desk where the environment is comfortable and soothing. However a handful of these are successful enough to land a job of their choice. Our job market is very limited and it doesn’t allow everyone to sit behind desks to push buttons, in fact we need to recruit employees to all stages.
The increased numbers of school leavers add up to the number of people in search of jobs. This magnifies the seriousness of the issue at hand. Much of these youth take up unfavourable habits and engage in illegal activities on the streets. These issues which need to be addressed on a community level cause a lot of social problems as they are left unattended.
Recent statistics by the Department of National Planning shows that 28 percent of the working class community in the Maldives are jobless. The issue may only be taken up at coffee tables amongst friends for the time being, but it wouldn’t be that way for long. Each year a lot of youth finish their O’levels and their A’levels, which has been an average basic education level for most among our society for years.
Job security is one very important issue that needs to be addressed on a wide scale. Even the employed today face a variety of different problems. Work environment should be somewhere we should feel that we ‘belong’ and not just the place we go to work. Employees and employers should both nurture a mutual relationship. Satisfaction at both ends is a must in order to increase productivity.
Work environment pose a lot of challenges to the employees and employers alike. Employees and employer must both work in good faith for the increase of the overall productivity of the establishment. It is common among the working class community to have their differences and issues. These issues need to be tackled through dialogue and should not resort to altercations.
In the Maldives, an Employment Tribunal was recently established to probe in to cases related to work. Over a hundred cases of unfair employment dismissal have been reported to the Employment Tribunal on an annual basis, within the last three years.
Employment tribunal case statistics show a total number of 194 claims reported to the tribunal from April to December 2009, 276 claims from January to December 2010, 183 claims from January to December 2011 and 88 claims from January to May 16, 2012.
The most common issues reported to the institution are of unfair dismissals. In 2009, 112 cases of unfair dismissal cases were filed, 139 cases in 2010, 106 cases in 2011 and 53 claims till May 16, this year.
Many other cases reported to the tribunal include the breach of employment contract, discrimination, work place changes, pension disputes, hiring disputes, unfair notice, demotion, promotion, suspension, wage benefits not being paid, issues about leave, employment transfer notice being given and employ reference letter not being issued.
Employment tribunal has brought hope to those employees treated unfairly, however we rarely hear employers’ rights being protected. Employment tribunal should not only be a place where the employees’ rights are protected, it should also protect the rights of employers.