Federation of Kenya Employers says every modern sector company in the country has lost at least 33 jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As if that is not enough, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection data also revealed that 604 firms countrywide have fired some of their employees due negative impact of the pandemic on businesses.
At least 60 FKE members, who are modern sector employers have declared coronavirus caused redundancies.
The FKE executive director, Jacqueline Mugo, said a survey on the impact of Covid-19 on its members shows that each firm lost 33 jobs on average between March and August 2020.
FKE says at the national level, the 1.7 million lost jobs estimate is a conservative figure.
Kenya National Bureau of Statics shows that 83.6 percent of the total workforce in Kenya consists of informal workers, who are the most affected by the pandemic.
“The reality is far worse than this,” Mugo told the Nation.
Companies under stress
The FKE noted that even before the onset of the pandemic, it had raised the alarm that companies were under stress and jobs were being lost. And Covid-19 just worsen the situation.
“The reality, however, is that the worst is yet to come, as workers continue to grapple with the impact of the pandemic, especially the consequences of the abrupt shutting down of economic activities,” Mugo said as reported by Daily Nation.
Mugo added that in 2019 alone the federation member companies declared 7,000 employees redundant, raising various issues such as mergers and acquisitions, change in the regulatory environment in education and transport.
The latest survey by FKE shows that the average number of employees per organization was 405 as of February 29,2020. This further dropped to 372 employees as of Agust 2020.
“Besides, we are seeing a spike in the trade disputes reported in the Industrial Court and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection arising from the measures employers have taken to mitigate from the impact of the pandemic on businesses,” she said.
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The government has however urged employers and employees to engage in dialogue.
“To date, 60 of our member companies have declared redundancies because of poor business performance occasioned by the effects of Covid-19. For instance, reduced demand for goods and services,” she said.
The employment world has greater;y been impacted by the imposition of lockdown measures, which also involved the closure of some workplaces.