Laying off workers will haunt you after COVID-19 – Labour Commission warns employers

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The Commissioner of the National Labour Commission, Dr. James Atta Nuamah has advised employers in the private sector to rescind their decisions of laying off workers due to the coronavirus as it will haunt them after the pandemic ends.

In an interview monitored by ABC News, Dr. Nuamah explained that rebuilding the economy after the pandemic will be difficult and slow for employers to catch up because they would have to spend extra time on training new workers.

In his view, it would be laudable if employers negotiate with their employees by agreeing to pay allowances instead of salaries during the crisis period.

“It is only the private sector which has got a little bit of problem but my advice to the private sector is that they should not start laying workers off because it will eventually affect them.  Especially those people that are trained, if you lay them off now and then the economy starts picking, you have to spend a lot of money to train other people again.”

“And the timeline that you train the person, the amount of money that invested in the training will go against you. So why don’t you keep the old ones that you have and then negotiate with them, they all know we’re not in normal times. Even if it means giving them allowances and telling them their salaries will be paid after the period, they will understand this is how it should go,” he stated.

Speaking on the fate of contract workers, the Labour Commission boss said: “if it is a contract for a specific period say one year, the law is saying that give notice, after the notice, there should also be a reason, a month prior.”

According to him, public sector workers have nothing to worry about as the government will pay without having their salaries been slashed.

“Fortunately for the formal sector government is paying their salaries because it has not reduced their salaries and there have been measures that have been put in place because of the social distancing. They are either running on a shift basis or have been divided into weekly groups. For them, they don’t have much problems because they are being paid by the government and at the end of the month they will get their salaries,” Dr. Nuamah added.

As today marks the celebration of May Day, Dr. Nuamah admonished workers all over the country to “continue to hold the country on their shoulders as they have done.”



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