The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) now wants the Government of Kenya to put in place a Wage Relief Fund to support employers who are struggling to pay employees’ wages during the difficult pandemic period.
In the last six months since the pandemic hit Kenya, many businesses sent home workers after the pandemic impacted their operations leading to hard economic times for laid-off workers and their families, something the lobby group now says can be addressed to keep employees of distressed businesses at work.
“The Wage Relief Fund will not only protect the livelihoods of affected employees, but it will also support adversely affected businesses.Undeniably, businesses continue to bear the brunt of the impact of the pandemic given the huge investments made against the low productivity being experienced right now,” said FKE Executive Director Jacqueline Mugo in a statement sent to newsrooms on Tuesday.
FKE has bemoaned that even with declining Covid-19 figures, negative impacts of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come with many businesses risking closure and presently in urgent need of support to survive.
“It is deeply disheartening to read reports in the media alluding that some business people are taking advantage of the crisis to engage in fraud thus exacerbating the misery of people in this pandemic period.”Federation of Kenya Employers Executive Director Jane Mugo
In a survey conducted in August 2020 by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in collaboration with BUSSINESSAfrica, findings show that 34% of SME’s in Sub Saharan Africa are now at risk of shutting down in less than three months.
“It is deeply disheartening to read reports in the media alluding that some business people are taking advantage of the crisis to engage in fraud thus exacerbating the misery of people in this pandemic period,” said Mrs.Mugo, warning that FKE has a zero tolerance policy to fraud.
While condemning business owners who are engaged in fraudulent schemes, the Executive Director warned FKE will not consider such businesses for awards and commendations in future.
“Through the Employer of the Year Awards (EYA), the Federation fetes only employers who perform exemplarily in Corporate Governance & Leadership and Responsible Business Conduct,” she said.
FKE is now urging that as businesses begin to re- open, enterprises should continue seeking advice and support from the federation. “
“We all need to work together to speed up the recovery and secure the economic prosperity of our beloved nation in the long-run. Building resilient enterprises that are able to create wealth and retain people in jobs requires that all stakeholders, government, employers and workers remain united in supporting businesses to bounce back,” says Mrs.Mugo