Govt suspends operations at Crown Casino over alleged discriminatory wages, others


Government has suspended operations at Crown Casino in Lusaka with immediate effect.

Ministry of Labour and Social Security Labour Commissioner, Givens Muntengwa, said the decision followed an inspection on Monday night after a tip-off from an anonymous source on October 23, 2023.

Muntengwa said the inspection raised concerns about the casino’s work conditions such as poor sanitation, none issuance of contracts and payslips and long hours of work.

He said a number of issues were discovered that verified the anonymous tip-off and highlighted further issues such as discrimination against Zambian employees.

“This is in violation of the Employment Code Act No. 3 of 2019 (ECA).

“One of the main concerns was the significant wage disparity between Zambian employees and expatriates who had the same job description,” Muntengwa said.

He said Zambian employees were being paid lower wages, which was in violation of Section 5 of the ECA on discrimination.

Muntengwa said dilapidated facilities were observed for Zambian employees compared to their expatriate counterparts.

“This discrepancy in the working conditions also raised concerns about the casino’s compliance with safety regulations under the Factories Act,” he said.

Muntengwa said the decision to suspend operations at Crown Casino was a necessary step to address these issues and ensure fairness and equal treatment for all employees furthering the “Equal pay for work of equal value” agenda.

Read More: Govt shuts down Sable Transport over alleged failure to comply with labour laws

He said it demonstrated the government’s commitment to enforce labor laws and protect the rights of Zambian workers as well as expatriates.

“Moving forward, it is expected that Crown Casino will be required to rectify these issues and improve the working conditions for its employees, particularly in terms of wages and facilities,” Muntengwa said.

He said the Ministry would closely monitor the situation to ensure compliance with the law and prevent any further instances of discrimination or safety risks.

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