Primitive Bible translations have not used terms such as employer, employee or employment in reference to human resource. Instead, terminologies like master, servant, lord, slave and service are used from the book of Genesis through to Revelations. Today, labour is resourced through employment and resourced personnel are referred to as “employees”. Employees who are modern-day slaves/servants are protected by local and international labour laws as the society keeps on evolving towards labour equity and justice.
While we remain thankful to positive changes that have taken place since slavery to employment, it is important to ask whether the master/lord has changed into an employer and whether the slave has advanced to become a servant. In my study, I’ve made findings by answering the question, why are employees paid a salary? My answers are three: to appreciate them for work done, to motivate them to keep working and to make them forget their dreams. The first two are positive and are reflected in payment of competitive salaries, leave days at work, flexible work schedules, protection of the employee from hazards and fair employee appraisal. The third reason why employees are paid a salary is non-progressive. It is found in the capitalist master/lord who wants the salve/servant to forget their dreams and think about the employment only. Such an employer is playing safe with labour laws by: paying non-competitive salaries, resetting his watch to forget leave days and weekdays meant for resting, biased promotions and overusing already skilled, qualified and experienced interns/volunteering staff without monetary appreciation.
The employee should protect his/her employment by being honest, productive and innovative. The employee should also overcome slavery through wise spending of employment income. Such wise ways of spending a salary include saving, investing and re-investing at least 15% of gross payment consistently. Finally, the modern day slave should find freedom in using leave-days, off-days and after-work free time in other fulfilling activities that advance his social welfare.
By Rick Okinda | IGBR Editor