The truth of the matter is that Covid-19 has affected our style and mode of working and learning. In this period, it is inevitable for employers to find new approaches and solutions to build the capacity of their staff through distance learning. Companies must explore organizational needs vis a viz the necessary skills set required in response to the pandemic.
While opening the 3rd training module session in the course “Managing Employment Contracts During and Post Covid-19 Pandemic”, Mrs. Mugo the Executive Director, Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) pointed out that the Federation had embraced technology and shifted a big part of its training programs to e-platforms.
The benefits members derive from these trainings include;
1. Enhanced knowledge and skills in managing employment contracts from end-to-end i.e. from the point of employee recruitment/engagement to the point of exit.
2. Increased efficiency in management of ongoing employment contracts.
3. Reduced complaints and grievances from staff.
4. Reduced cost of ligation arising from poor handling of contractual obligations.
The 3rd Module on the topic “Separation of Parties in Employment Contracts” was presented by Mr. George Masese, Senior Legal Officer at FKE. It reviewed the modes of separation and how employers can deal with this, its effects and cost implications. It also explored ways of dealing with separation arising from expiry of contracts, during maternity leave period, facing disciplinary action and now death of employees during this Covid-19 period. More so, in handling next of kin dues, funeral expenses and offering psychosocial support.
Emphasis was put on effective communication with regard to the situation facing the employers and the valid grounds for effecting the separation of contracts.
Mr. Moses Ombokh, Senior Industrial Relations Officer took delegates through real time scenarios using a case study to allow them to internalize and understand the concepts presented.
We are glad that you all joined us for this Master class program. A rerun of the course will be announced soon. All delegates who went through all the three modules will receive an E-certificate.
The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) represented members during the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Summit held on 2nd July 2020. The virtual meeting brought together Government representatives, Employer Organizations, workers representatives, and Development Partners to discuss the impact of Covid- 19 on the World of Work in Africa and share good practices in response to the crisis.
Ms. Jacqueline Mugo, Executive Director FKE and Secretary-General, Business Africa while presenting her closing remarks in the session noted that Covid-19 had drastically changed the landscape. In response to the crisis, African Governments put up measures to control its spread. Of course with a far-reaching negative impact on the economy. “Many governments, including my own country Kenya, have availed considerable economic stimulus packages to support the population and businesses. Unfortunately, these packages have proved inadequate due to the prolonged duration of the crisis and the far-reaching measures and restrictions put in place to keep the virus in check and the inability to cushion employers on payroll costs,” said Mrs. Mugo.
She also acknowledged the challenges facing employer organizations including loss of membership and income due to the financial difficulties facing enterprises. Ms. Mugo noted that this situation poses a risk on employer organizations' capacity to represent the private sector’s voice and actively engage in advocacy and social dialogue. Towards this end, she called upon the ILO to play a role in assisting tripartite constituents to navigate the crisis and recover from it sustainably.
She also called upon African governments to urgently provide further and effective support to businesses to stay afloat and avoid large scale job losses. “Our governments should ensure that financial support reaches enterprises, especially SMEs,” emphasized Mrs. Mugo
While lauding Kenya for expanding its scope of social dialogue and tripartism through a Memorandum of Understanding to manage the conflict, she noted that only a few African countries possess the institutional mechanism for involving social partners in policy issues outside of labour matters. In this regard, the Executive Director urged ILO to assist its constituents to increase their capacity on social and economic key drivers, including those for productivity growth, while at the same time promoting social dialogue and tripartism through the UN Cooperation Framework and the sensitization of line Ministries at the national level.
Nevertheless, all is not lost as the continent could seize the opportunities that the crisis offers to accelerate reforms. For instance; in today’s integrated and borderless world, digital technologies offer opportunities for productivity. Africa should improve IT infrastructure to increase accessibility.
Even though the pandemic is unprecedented, Mrs. Mugo maintained that the Continent had no option but to be resilient as has always been. Working together to minimize the health, economic and employment impacts of this crisis and build back better and stronger in Africa!