June 23, 2021

Employers In Workplace Decongestion Dilemma

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Lloyd Ndemo

Employers in Zimbabwe are in a dilemma following a government directive that workplaces must be decongested by 50 percent, as part of measures to contain Covid-19 infections which have been on the rise lately.

On Monday police said they would be visiting company premises to ensure adherence to the latest Covid-19 regulations. Now employers find themselves in a catch 22 situation.

To decongest or not is the question. Employers are seeking to strike a balance between saving lives and keeping production at optimum levels. Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe President, Dr Israel Murefu told ZTN that while he encouraged the corporate world to comply with the authorities’ directive, companies were experiencing hardships.

“companies must comply with the government’s directive particularly those regarded as non-essential services. However we think that whilst these regulations are intended for good reason they have some negative impact on those companies in terms of productivity and capacity utilization and this might have adverse consequences on their workforce because it may be very difficult to pay salaries on workers sitting at home.”

He also said: “It’s a very difficult situation that they are in and some kind of delicate balance must be agreed on between companies continuing to operate and the need to save lives. And while this may be disruptive companies must comply and those regarded as non-essential services who believe they offer essential service must create a platform and engage the government and seek relaxed working conditions.”

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