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Basic conditions of employment refer to minimum conditions of employment that an employer must provide for employees. The law in Zambia has set minimum standards and basic conditions of employment for workers in the Employment Code Act. In addition to the Employment Code Act, specific groups of vulnerable workers have Ministerial Orders in the form of statutory instruments that provide specific basic conditions of employment. These statutory instruments, namely the General Order, Shop Workers Order, Domestic Workers Order and Truck and Bus Drivers Orders provide for the minimum wage and basic conditions of employment for specified, vulnerable workers and together with the Employment Code Act which applies to the majority of employees in Zambia, are the law that provide conditions of employment.

The two cases involved an interpretation of the General Order and their applicability to various groups of employees. This Order is designed for the most vulnerable employees such as general workers, office clerks, cleaners, receptionists and typists, shop workers and domestic employees. In essence, these sought to determine which employees are covered by the Orders and whether they are entitled to benefits under the said Orders.

The Supreme Court in Kasembo Transport Limited v. Collins John Kinnear dealt with an employee who was employed as a bookkeeper but enjoyed conditions that were comparably superior to those enjoyed by many employees that carried a similar job title or description. The issue was whether his retirement benefits could be calculated in terms of the General Order.

In Tiger Chicks, the Supreme Court was tasked with determining whether employees categorised as a hatchery attendant, poultryman and woman or vaccinator, qualified as employees covered by the General Order and thus entitled to benefit from the minimum conditions of employment provided.