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Employment Contracts (Offences)

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 6 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that penal sanctions may still be applied against labourers in Tanganyika who use abusive or insulting language to employers or who unlawfully leave their employer's service; that 142 convictions and 115 terms of imprisonment resulted from this in 1947; and whether he will institute an inquiry with a view to amending the law in this respect.


The use of abusive or insulting language to an employer by a servant is no longer a penal offence under the legislation relating to contracts of employment in Tanganyika. Unlawful desertion is a special problem in a country where contracted workers are frequently brought great distances at a considerable expense to the, employer, and, in present conditions and circumstances, the continuance of the penal sanction for desertion of the worker is regarded as both justifiable and advisable. The position will be kept under review.