የኮቪድ 19 ወረርሸኝና የአሠሪና ሠራተኛ ጉዳይ

 

በዓለማችን የኮሮና ቫይረስ ወረርሽን እየተስፋፋ በመምጣቱ ከአሜሪካ እስከ አፍሪካ፣ ከአውሮፓ እስከ እሲያ ከአውስትራሊያ እስከ ደቡብ አሜሪካ መንግስታት፣ መንግስታዊና መንግስታዊ ያልሆኑ ተቋማት፣ ግዙፍ የንግድ ድርጅቶች አነስተኞቹን ጨምሮ እንቅስቃሴያቸው እየተናጋ፤ ህልውናቸው ፈተና ውስጥ እየገባ ነው፡፡ ይህ ወረርሽን ማብቂያው እና መወገጃው በግልጽ ያልታወቀ እና ሊተነበይም ያልቻለ በመሆኑ በተለይም የግል የንግድ ድርጅቶች ቀጥረው የሚያሰሯቸው ሠራተኞች ላይ ሊወስዱ ስለሚችሉት እርምጃ እርግጠኛ አይደሉም፡፡ በሀገራችን ኢትዮጵያም የቫይረሱ መግባት ከተረጋገጠበት ጊዜ አንስቶ መንግስት ትምህርት ቤቶችን  እንዲዘጉ አድርጓል፡፡ በመቀጠልም ፍርድ ቤቶች በከፊል እንዲሁም የመንግስት ተቋማት በፈረቃ የሚሰሩበትን ሁኔታ አመቻችቷል፡፡ በሌሎች የንግድ ድርጅቶች ላይ በመንግስት ደረጃ የተሰጠ ትዕዛዝ ባይኖርም የንግድ እንቅስቃሴ በመቀዝቀዙ እንዲሁም ግለሰቦች በተቻላቸው አቅም ከቤት እንዳይወጡ እየተመከረ በመሆኑ ሥራ በአግባቡ እየተሰራ እና ድርጅቶች በፊት ያገኙ የነበረውን ገቢ እያስቀጠሉ ነው ለማለት አዳጋች ነው፡፡

በመሆኑም የግል የንግድ ተቋማት በተለይ በእንደዚህ አይነት አስገዳጅ የሆነ ሥራን ማሰራት፣ ገቢንም መሰብሰብ በማይቻልበት ወቅት ምን አይነት ሕጋዊ እርምጃዎችን መውሰድ ይችላሉ? በሕጉ ላይ የተቀመጡ አማራጮች ምንድን ናቸው? አማራጮቹን ለመጠቀምስ የሚያስፈልጉ ቅድመ ሁኔታዎችስ ምን ምን ናቸው? የሚሉትን ነጥቦች ከአሠሪና ሠራተኛ ጉዳይ አዋጅ ቁጥር 1156/2011 (አዋጁ) ድንጋጌዎች አንጻር በመቃኘት አሠሪዎች በሠራተኞቻቸው ላይ አላስፈላጊ እርምጃ እንዳይወስዱ፤ ሠራተኞችም የሥራ ዋስትናቸው እስከምን ድረስ ሊሆን እንደሚችል ተገንዝበው የራሳቸውን መብት እንዲያስከብሩ እና አስፈላጊውን ቅድመ ጥንቃቄ እንዲያደርጉ በማሰብ ይህን ጽሑፍ ተዘጋጅቷል፡፡

 

ከአቅም በላይ የሆኑ ከሥራ ውል የሚመነጩ መብትና ግዴታዎች እንዲታገዱ ሊያደርጉ የሚችሉ ሁኔታዎች፡-

Continue reading
  4498 Hits

Burden of Proof in Tax Disputes: Ethiopia  

 

Introduction

Burden of proof in tax disputes could rest either on the tax payer or on the tax authority or sometimes both could bear the burden of proof. For instance under the United States and Canadian tax laws the primary burden of producing an adequate evidence to rebut the assessment or decision of the tax authority rests on the tax payer. On the other hand countries like Sweden, Netherlands and Spain in their tax laws share the burden of proof in tax disputes between the tax payer and the tax authority. Hence in these counties the burden of proof in tax disputes is shared between the litigating parties.  As such the tax inspector must deduce evidence for a profit adjustment and on the other the tax payer must substantiate an exemption or deduction alleged. To the contrary tax laws in Denmark, France and Finland locate the burden of proving the accuracy of the tax decisions made according to estimation on the tax authority.  Similarly in Hungary the tax authority is obliged to prove the bad faith of the tax payer when prohibiting the deduction on VAT. This shows that there are possibilities where by tax authorities could bear the burden of proof in tax disputes.

 

In Ethiopian context when tax disputes arise the first venue to visit by the tax payer is the tax review committee structured with in the tax authority. Its role is just to give recommendation to the tax authority. The next body available for aggrieved tax payers is the federal tax appeal commission, found outside of the tax authority and enjoys a relative autonomy and independence. Then the federal high court comes to picture at this point as a next step available for aggrieved tax payers.  Up to this point the ordinary court of the country does not involve itself in tax disputes. 

Continue reading
  5306 Hits

Refugee proclamation No. 1110/2019: The right to work of refugees, is it possible to implement?

 

Introduction

 

Ethiopia is host to the Second Largest refugee population in Africa. With over 905,000 refugees, the majority originating from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea,  Yemen, Sudan, and others. Most of the refugees in Ethiopia are located in Gambella Regional State, Tigray Regional State, Somali Regional State,  Addis Ababa, Afar Regional State, and Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State. Most of the host regions are the least developed regions in the country, characterized by harsh weather conditions, poor infrastructure, extremely low capacity, high levels of poverty and poor development indicators.

In 2017 the government of Ethiopia (GoE) accepted to implement Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). The core objectives of the Framework are to ease pressure on the host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, expand access to third-country resettlement solutions, and support conditions in countries of origin for safe return. Following the decision of GoE to implement CRRF, in 2019 the GoE revised the 2004 refugee proclamation. The main focus of the revised proclamation is on durable solutions through local integration of refugees.

Continue reading
  6903 Hits

Examining Workers Rights, Occupational Safety Measures and Benefits amid Covid-19 Under Ethiopian Labour Law

 

Introduction

The outbreak of CODIV-19 has caused employment crisis worldwide as the virus is claiming thousands of lives and sickening a millions. The virus is causing global economic, social, health, and economic disruptions. The International Labour Organization has an estimate that up to 25 million jobs could be lost worldwide. In addition to the possible unemployment crisis, the safety and health of workers are at risk. Following the declaration of the virus as a Public Emergence of  International Concern  and pandemic by World Health Organization, countries are taking different measures including partial or full lockdown. Ethiopia is not an exception to this crisis, and the same measures are being taken by the government.

During crisis, Labor Law responds with safety and health measures, benefits and rights for workers. However, CODIV-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to some static provisions of the labor law, including the ILO protocols and guidelines. The Ethiopian labor proclamation has also suffered from some lacuna to combat the CODIV-19 pandemic having static provisions in normal cases. Hence, the discussion as to new challenges posed by the new pandemic to the Ethiopian labor law, the adequacy of existing legal responses available, the safety and health measures needs to be taken, and the workers' rights and benefits related with this outbreak is imperative and timely.

The Issue

Continue reading
  5331 Hits

An Overview of the Draft Arbitration Proclamation - Part Two

 

In the first part I had discussed some issues under the draft proclamation. This includes arbitrability of administrative contract, competency-competency, separability doctrine, pauper proceeding, appeal and the standard to challenge the arbitrators. In this part, I will briefly discuss the role of the court in arbitration proceeding, the New York Convention and the nature and impartiality of the Center as envisaged under the draft proclamation.

1. The role of the court in arbitration proceeding:- In every jurisdiction there is a competing and conflicting interest of maintaining the balance between excessive judicial intervention and necessary intervention of the court in the arbitration proceeding. However, the contemporary trend is that the court as much as possible should minimize their intervention in Arbitration proceeding.

In principle arbitration proceeding takes place without court intervention unless the law specified otherwise. Although arbitration is an independent proceeding, the Tribunal might need the assistance of the court during the process. The first and foremost role of the court is to oversee the enforceability of arbitration award. Enforcement of an arbitration award is only possible through the involvement of court as the Tribunal has no such power. Second, unlike court proceeding whereby the judges are appointed by the parliament, the arbitrators are chosen by the parties in arbitration proceeding. However, if one of the parties failed to choose, the court may choose the arbitrators.

Third, arbitration clause or submission is a contractual transaction and binding only on the contracting parties. This implies that the Tribunal doesn’t have a cohesive power over third party. Therefore, the Tribunal might need the assistance of the court to bring third party into the proceeding. Fourth, interim measures of the Tribunal will not be directly enforced and hence court intervention or assistance is required. And finally, the aggrieved party might appeal to the court for seating aside of the judgment.

Continue reading
  4067 Hits

በኮቪድ-19 ወረርሽኝ ወቅት የአሠሪና ሠራተኛ ግንኙነት - የሠራተኛ እና ማህበራዊ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር ፕሮቶኮል አንድምታ

 

ዓለማችን ላይ የፈረንጆቹ 2020 የተወሳሰቡ ችግሮችን ይዞባት መጥቷል፡፡ ከቻይና ውሃን በትንሹ ተነስቶ በወራት ውስጥ ዓለምን ካዳረሰው የኮሮና ቫይረስ የሚስተካከል ችግር ግን ይመጣል ብሎ የገመተ አልነበረም፡፡ ይህ ቫይረስ በቀጥታ በሰው ልጆች ጤና እና ህይዎት ላይ እያሰከተለ ከሚገኘው ኪሳራ እና ውድመት በሚስተካከል ደረጃ ማህበራዊ እና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ችግሮችንም እያስከተለ ይገኛል፡፡ ከአሜሪካ ስቶክ ማርኬት እስከ ኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ፤ ከአውሮፓዊያኑ የንግድ ልውውጦች እስከ ኢትዮጵያ የአበባ ንግድ፤ ከካናድ የጥራጣሬ ግብይት እስከ አዲስ አበባ የአትክልት ተራ ንግድ ድረስ ብዙ መመስቃቀሎችን እያስከተለ ይገኛል፡፡ በዚህ መመሰቃቀል ውስጥ ብዙ አካላት ተጎጂ የሚሆኑ ቢሆንም በተለያዩ ሁኔታዎች ላይ ተቀጥረው እንደሚሰሩ ሰራተኞች ግን የችግሩ ቀጥተኛ ገፈት ቀማሽ አይገኝም፡፡ በተለይ ከአሜሪካ የቅጥር ገባያ እየሰማን እንዳለነው ብዙ ድርጅቶች ሰራተኞቻቸውን እየቀነሱ እያጋጠማቸው ያለውን የገንዘብ እጥረት በማቃለል ላይ ይገኛሉ፡፡ ይህ በሀገሪቱ የሚገኘውን የሥራ አጥ ቁጥር ወደ ስላሳ በመቶ እያደረሰው ይገኛል፡፡ ይህ ችግር ወደ ኢትዮጵያ መከሰቱ የማይቀር ነው፡፡ ብዙ የግል ድርጅቶች ስራቸውን ሙሉ ለሙሉ እያቆሙ በሚገኝበት በዚህ ጊዜ የሠራተኛን የደሞዝ ወጪ ያለምንም ችግር የመሸፈን አቅም ይኖራቸዋል ተብሎ አይጠበቅም፡፡    

ይሄን ችግር ከግምት ውሰጥ በማስገባት የሠራተኛ እና ማህበራዊ ጉዳይ ሚኒስቴር በዚህ ሳምንት መጋቢት /2012 ዓ/ም ከአሠሪዎችና ሠራተኛ ማህበራት ጋር በመነጋገር አሠሪዎች በዚህ ወቅት ለሰራተኞቻቸው ወጥ የሆነ ምላሽ እንዲሰጡ የሚያስችል የኮቪድ 19 የሥራ ቦታ ምላሽ (workplace Response) የተመለከተ ፕሮቶኮል (ፕሮቶኮል ወይም ፕሮቶኮሉ) አውጥቷል፡፡ የዚህ ፕሮቶኮል መነሻ የዓለም ስራ ድርጅት (አይ.ኤል.ኦ) በተፈጥሮ እና በሰው ሰራሽ አደጋዎች ሳቢያ ሀገራት እና የስራው ዓለም ሲጠቃ የቀውስ አስተዳደር ምላሽን በተመከተ በተቀመጠው ጋይድ ላይን መሰረት መሆኑ ተጠቅሷል፡፡ ይህ አጭር ዳሰሳ ፕሮቶኮሉ በአሠሪዎች እና በሰራተኞች ላይ የሚጥለውን መብትና ግዴታ ከማየት ባለፈ የፕሮቶኮሉን ህጋዊ አንድምታ እና መሰል ጉዳዮችን አይዳስስም፡፡

  1. ፕሮቶኮሉ ዓላማ

የፕሮቶኮሉ አሠሪዎች ያላቸውን ህልውና ለማስቀጠል የሠራተኛ የደሞዝ ወጭን በመቀነስ የሚወስዷቸውን እርምጃዎች እና ሰራተኞች ደግሞ በዚህ ወቅት ሊደርስባቸው የሚችለውን ከፍተኛ የሆነ ማህበራዊ ቀውስ ከግምት ውስጥ በማስገባት የአሠሪውን ህልውና እና የሰራተኞችን ማህበራዊ ዋስትና በማመጣጠን ወጥ ምላሽን ለመስጠት ያለመ ነው፡፡ በፕሮቶኮሉ ላይ እንደተጠቀሰው የቫይረሱን ወረርሽን ባስተማማኝ መልኩ ለመከላከል እና ወረርሽኙ ቢከሰት ጉዳትን ለመቀነስ እንዲሁም ወረርሽኙ በሀገሪቱ ኢኮኖሚ፤ በድርጅቶች ቀጣይነትና ህልውና እና በሠራተኞች ማህበራዊና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ሁኔታ የሚፈጠረውን አሉታዊ ተፅዕኖ መቀነስ ነው፡፡

  1. የአሠሪ ግዴታዎች

ወረርሽኙን የመከላከያ እርምጃዎችን መውሰድ

Continue reading
  6918 Hits

Coronavirus – The Limitations on Your Rights and the Resulting Responsibilities, Explained

 

 

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced the government’s decision to close schools and the banning of all sports events and large public gatherings for the next fifteen days. The decision was made after the government has confirmed a total of five cases on Monday, March 16, 2020. Going forward, the government is expected to take measures, which will have an adverse effect on the constitutional and legislative rights of health professionals, customs officers and the general public. In this article, I will discuss some of the possible limitations on the rights of these people and possible measures that the government is entitled to take in case of disobedience.

Duties and Limitations Associated with COVID-19

In relation to the outbreak of COVID-19, different segments of the society are duty bound to assist in preventing the spread of the disease. Specifically, the duties on health professionals, customs officers and individual citizens are briefly explained below.

Continue reading
  4536 Hits

An Overview of the Draft Arbitration Proclamation - Part one

 

Introduction

When we come to commercial dispute which arise out of not respecting contractual obligations by one or more parties, settlement of dispute through court come in the for front. However, the existing Ethiopian court system is extremely sluggish, rigid and expensive. On the contrary arbitration is praised for its speedy proceeding, flexible process, confidentiality of the proceeding, finality of dispute which ultimately saves time and money. Although there are some critics against the heart of the system, arbitration stands out as one of the most popular means of dispute settlement mechanism.

One of the many definitions of arbitration is “non-state institution that resolves the disputes entrusted by the parties that found themselves in a dispute.”  The existing Ethiopian arbitration law is found in the Civil Code of Ethiopia, Article 3325 to Article 3346 of the Civil Code and partly in Civil Procedure Code, Article 315 to 319 and Article 350 to 357. However, recognizing the fact that arbitration is becoming part and parcel of the mainstreaming dispute resolving mechanism, the law maker come up with the draft arbitration rule. Structurally, the draft has 11 sections and 86 Articles. The main reason to came up with this draft is for the establishment of international arbitration center in Ethiopia which is financed by the government. In this brief, I will discuss, if I can, the main typical feature and some areas of concerns that popped-up during the discussion with various stakeholders.

  1. Continuity of uncertainty over arbitrability of administrative contract – it’s generally accepted principle that arbitrability or non- arbitrability of any matter is the concern of public policy. In emphasizing this point the competent authors in the field state that: “the concept of non-arbitrability is in effect public policy limitation upon the scope of arbitration as a method of settling disputes. Each state may decide, in accordance with its own public policy considerations as to which matters are incapable of being settled by arbitration under the law of the place of agreement or of arbitration.” (emphasis supplied) In the same token recognition and enforcement of an award since it may be refused if the subject-matter is not arbitrable under the law of the country where enforcement is sought.

Continue reading
  5867 Hits

Legal Aspects of Electronic Commerce: The Case in Ethiopia

 

 

Introduction

The century we are living in is the age of information and communication technology. Increased use of these electronic communications improve the efficiency of commercial activities, enhances trade connections and allows new access opportunities for previously remote parties and markets, thus playing a fundamental role in promoting trade and economic development, both domestically and internationally.

Commerce is the exchange of goods and services. It can be either conventional or electronic. The conventional commerce is the exchange of goods and services with the physical meeting of people. Unlike the conventional commerce, electronic commerce is a real-time transaction in the virtual space.

E-commerce could have both cross-border and within a jurisdiction facets. A cross-border e-commerce is one that involves international online trade with sale or purchase of products via online shops across national borders. The focus of this term paper is, however, limited to e-commerce within a single political entity; i.e. the Ethiopian context.

Continue reading
  10831 Hits

The New Excise Tax Proclamation No. 1186/2012: A Compliance Overview

 

The House of Peoples Representatives has approved the infamous Excise Tax Proclamation (The Proclamation) last Thursday, February 13, 2020. Within hours from the approval of the proclamation, Ministry of Revenues have written a letter to manufacturers of excisable goods stating that the proclamation will be implemented starting from February 14, 2020, which in effect violates both the FDRE Constitution and Negarit Gazeta Establishment Proclamation. The proclamation has not yet been published in the Negarit Gazeta and there are notorious discrepancies between the Amharic and English versions. In addition, with no transition time given to the manufacturers, they are forced to prepare manual invoices, which separately shows the amount of excise tax payable in the transaction as the new law requires the amount of excise tax should be separately shown in the invoice.

Setting aside all these problems occurring due to the panic moves of the government, the Proclamation has introduced fundamental changes to the existing excise tax framework and the market has already felt the punch of these changes within few days of its implementation. In this brief overview, some of the major changes introduced to the Excise Tax Regime will be assessed.

 

1. Imposition of Excise Tax on Excisable Goods

Continue reading
  12853 Hits
Tags: