Parliament has approved an amount of GH¢6.276 million to support the services of the National Labour Commission (NLC) for the 2022 Financial Year.
The approval of the budget estimates is to ensure that the Commission is given the needed resources required to deliver effectively on its mandate.
Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations then moved the motion for the House to consider the estimates which was seconded by Mr Philip Basoah, Chairman of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises.
Mr Basoah in presenting the Committee report stated that for the past years, the Ministry of Finance had not granted financial clearance to enable the Commission to recruit new staff and replace those who have resigned or retired from the service of the Commission.
He said the situation according to the Commission, had undermined its capacity to deal expeditiously with huge volumes of cases/complaints received from the various parts of the country.
Mr Basoah, therefore, urged the Ministry of Finance to prioritize the work of the Commission in view of its role in promoting a peaceful working environment and harmonious labour relations.
He urged the Ministry of Finance to provide requisite financial clearance for the Commission to replace the existed staff.
Mr Basoah also indicated that labour issues continued to be at the heart of the socio-economic development of the country as labour agitation have the potential to stagnate the development effort of the government.
He said the invaluable contribution of the NLC in promoting harmonious industrial relations, cannot be underestimated.
“It is important to recognize that the arbitration role played by the Commission reduces industrial tension and create the congenial atmosphere for productivity and development,” he added.
Mr Alex Adomako-Mensah, Ranking Member of the Committee on Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises in his comment, expressed concern about the huge outstanding amount sitting in the compensation vote of the Commission.
He explained that out of the total amount of GH¢3,218,901 approved as compensation for the Commission, a total of GH¢1,635,043.71 had been expended representing 50.7 percent of the entire compensation budget.
He said the Commission explained that the amount represented the salaries of workers for the rest of the year allowances for Board Members for the fourth quarter and arrears of sitting allowance for regional committees of the Commission.
Mr Adomako also expressed concern that the 2022 budget estimates for the Commission had seen a major decrease in the allocation for Goods and Services as well as Capex votes.
He explained that whiles the Goods and Services saw a reduction of GH¢583,867, that of Capex recorded GH¢345,000 reduction from 2021 levels, however, the Commission votes increased from GH¢3,218,901 to GH¢4,108,000 an increase of about 21.6 percent.
He said despite the increase in the compensation, the logistics and equipment required to perform the mandate of the Commission would not be available as a result of inadequate allocation to Goods and Services and Capex.