As Ghana joins the rest of the world to celebrate Workers Day today May 1, the National Labour Commission is entreating private organisations not to lay off workers, amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
The commission says although it acknowledges we are not in normal times, certain trained workers cannot be laid off, else these organisations will have difficulties when the economy starts to pick up post-pandemic.
It, however, indicated that public servants are safe because their salaries haven’t been slashed.
Speaking on the Morning Starr with Francis Abban Friday Commissioner at the NLC, Dr James Atta Nuamah, advised business owners to negotiate with their workers instead.
He said “Fortunately for the formal sector government is paying their salaries because it has not reduced their salaries and there has 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.”
He went on “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 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.”
Dr Atta Nuamah, however, explained that a day-by-day contract lay off is within the ambit of the law. But “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.”
He admonished workers all over the country to “continue to hold the country on their shoulders as they have done.”