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Tanzania – Recruitment agencies accused of exploitation

26 July 2013

The Tanzanian government has put together a team to investigate complaints made by temporary workers about exploitation by recruitment agencies, according to udakuspecially.com.

Deputy Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Makongoro Mahanga advised The Guardian Tanazania in an interview, that the government would also consider the necessity of having such agencies in the first place.

The issue came to the fore when employees, dispatched by different agencies to the same company, discovered discrepancies in their wages. In a letter printed by The Guardian Tanzania, agency workers stated that they are being cheated by recruitment agencies that are recruiting staff at much lower salaries than the client company is paying.       

One particular agency, Erolink, has been accused of favouring certain workers and only offering renewable contracts between three and six months, in order to circumvent their client having to employ the temporary employees on a permanent basis. The letter also accused Erolink of determining how much each worker is to be paid.

The letter goes on to claim that the actions of Erolink and other recruitment agencies deny workers their basic rights; such as health insurance, job security, eligibility to access employee benefits similarly to permanent employees.

The general manager of Erolink, Natasha Ng’wanakilala, issued a statement refuting the claims of the workers and confirming that Erolink will cooperate with any government investigation. When asked about payment discrepancies, Ms Ng’wanakilala declined to comment advising that payments were confidential under the contract agreement with the workers.

When asked about the discrepancies between the salaries of permanent and temporary staff at client companies, she advised that the policies were arranged by the client companies.

The Tanzania Employment Service Agency (TaESA) confirmed that all outsourcing agencies are supposed to work in accordance with the country’s labour laws and the directives of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 

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