Prime News Ghana

Employers hint of possible layoffs over Covid-19

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Some employers have hinted that they might be forced to lay off workers if the Covid-19 does no end anytime soon.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many companies to allow staff to stay at home. This has greatly affected the finances of many businesses.

As part of ways to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 government has also promised some stimulus packages for businesses through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme yet to be approved by parliament.

Chief Executive of the Ghana Employers Association Alex Frimpong in a radio interview said they are engaging workers unions to find ways of dealing with the situation.

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According to him, everybody will understand that issues of layoffs are not matters that are on the table for any business but the circumstances may force job cuts.

" In times like this we are likely to engage the unions and you will expect a lot of challenges on the way but I'm sure they also realised that these are matters that were not within the contemplation of any business. Under these circumstances I'm sure and in that context, reasonableness will prevail and we should be able to strike a balance. The last thing any business will want to do is to lay off workers so let's see how it goes if there is income that releases the businesses as we expect I'm sure that will be the last resort..."

The Executive Secretary for the Association of Savings and Loans Companies, Tweneboah Kodua Boakye said they will still be accruing interest on deposits but the Covid-19 is not allowing people to pay their loans.

READ ALSO : Fighting Covid-19, Republic Bank defers loan repayment for customers 

With this, he believes one of the reasonable ways is to cut operational costs of which layoffs are part to help the financial institutions deal with the current situation.

"If this continues and people are not able to pay their loans but you have to continue to accrue interest on deposits then you will need to cut down some operational cost, and one of the operational costs you can cut down is personnel. So already when people are made to go home you are reducing some electricity bill and at the same time people are not coming to work so you are not going to pay their transportation but we do not want to get to that point, as a nation, we should start looking at all those things."