NEWS

FKE

We are all unsure of what the business scene will look like when the country reopens for normal operations. The reality is that the number of Covid-19 cases reported keep on increasing. The 12th FKE Webinar took this opportunity to learn from partners from Norway and China who have eventually reopened their economies. By 30th June, China had 83,531confirmed cases, 4,634 deaths and 78,469 recoveries while Norway’s confirmed cases were at 8,866, 248 deaths and 8,138 recoveries. Globally Covid -19 confirmed cases have reached 10Million with 500,000 deaths and 5Million recoveries recorded. 

With calls to reopen gaining momentum, what do this numbers mean for Kenya which has 6,106 confirmed cases, 144 deaths and 2013 recoveries?

The Executive Director FKE, Ms. Jaqueline Mugo while introducing the guest speakers noted that China and Norway were FKE’s international partners who have supported joint projects for capacity building and improved business climate. Moreover, the cooperation with China aims at enhancing responsible business practices in Africa and Chinese enterprises joining FKE membership. The guest speakers Dr. Michael Niu, Division Director & Associate Researcher, International Department, China Enterprise Confederation (CEC) and Mr. Magnus Ruderaas, Assistant Director, Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), International Cooperation Programme had this to say;

China’s Perspective 

The impact of Covid-19 on China’s economy is significant. Small and Medium Enterprises have been hard hit. However, close cooperation and collaboration has been instrumental in coming up with measures to mitigate the effects. The Government stepped up efforts to help the industries stay afloat, for instance; reduced the cost of electricity and other utilities to minimize production costs, boosted domestic consumption to cushion the blow of the pandemic on the economy.

We have also intensified testing in Beijing especially to those who are visiting, in areas where the virus was found and for people living in medium and high-risk areas. This has seen a gradual control of the virus as currently only two or three new infection have been reported. 

The China Enterprises Confederation (CEC) has assisted employees and employers return to work in an orderly manner. CEC developed guidelines on maintaining stable relations and supporting employees to report to work. This constitutes flexi working arrangements, compliance with government regulations, providing online trainings for workers, among others. Additionally, we have guidelines on collective consultation between social partners.

The CEC has developed a Handbook on Governance and Industrial Relations, Resumption of Work and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) covering the emerging questions in this period. CEC holds constant online engagement with enterprises on the new business paradigms in the era of digitization and how to ensure smooth flow of industrial chain during this period. We have also collected best practices from companies during this period to enable members learn from each other on how best to resume work. Key lessons that Kenya can learn from China is that businesses are facing similar challenges of importance is to keep the workplace safe for reopening.

Norway’s Perspective

Norway is currently gradually reopening, with schools, restaurants and events continuing albeit maintaining social distancing rules. Borders with Denmark, Finland and Iceland have been opened. Similarly, the situation has been devastating to businesses. Recently published reports indicate that the Norwegian GDP will reduce by 6.5% in 2020 and 3.5% in 2021. All sectors of the economy have received a negative market outlook with 85% of NHO member companies in hospitality reporting a negative market outlook and 84% of NHO members have reported a reduction in customers or demand for goods and services. The supply chains are equally failing due to closed borders, reduced mobility of workers and the quarantine rules.

The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), is working closely with the government and trade unions to develop policy that will minimise economic damage and support business and jobs. The Government measures (with parliamentary support) have contributed to reducing negative effects. Financial compensation schemes have been quickly deployed without strict control. Some of these policies include changes in regulation for temporary layoff and changes in regulations for sick leave and care leave

NHO has given advice to National Authorities on how businesses can be supported in this demanding time. Many of the suggestions from NHO have been included in the compensation schemes and economic crisis packages mentioned above. As the national restrictions are gradually lifted, it is important that the economic support measures are tuned from damage control and saving businesses from going under, to stimulus measures in order to get the economy up and running again.   

NHO has moved online to quickly disseminate information to members through a dedicated Member Portal, hotline and webinars for access on legal measures and advice. Guidelines on how to sustain operations including hygiene rules, training methods among many others have been developed.

Mrs. Jacqueline Mugo, The Executive Director, FKE lauded both confederations for playing a key role in supporting business survival and recovery. She noted commonality on the considerations that business have to consider in reopening  and the similarity in measures that all employer organizations have put in place to support member companies. 

In the foregoing, Mrs. Mugo urged Trade Unions to play an important role in business recovery owing to the need for collaboration among all players during this delicate period.

For this and more, follow us on twitter @FKEKenya or www.fke-kenya.org

 

Kenya to mark Idd-Ul- Fitr on Friday, 14th May 2021. #publicholiday #Idd2021 https://t.co/thA1VIqOLT
Since businesses play an important role in the socio economic development of 🇰🇪 , we look forward to more structure… https://t.co/EKP6b8LITx
UN resident coordinator @SWJacksonUN today engaged with FKE Executive Director @Jacquelinemugo2 on possible areas f… https://t.co/o0J59U6QuZ
RT @StateHouseKenya: 1/2 Invited guests led by Labour CS Simon Chelugui, COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli and FKE Executive Director J…
Thank you all for attending the FKE Rift valley Branch General Meeting(AGM) it was indeed an insightful moment… https://t.co/GpwoXFecOX
@Ihrm_Kenya Congratulations! We look forward to renewed partnership!
ONGOING! FKE Rift Valley Branch Annual General Meeting (AGM). The AGM gives an opportunity regional members to ta… https://t.co/z72E9Xj9oI
RT @MatthiasThorns: At #BP2C @ioevoice SG @robsuarezsantos speaks on the role of Employers. #employers have made huge efforts to adapt to t…
RT @FKEKenya: We were happy to have join @gnpplus on the 'Creating a positive workplace" webinar where @Jacquelinemugo2 urged employers gl…
We were happy to have join @gnpplus on the 'Creating a positive workplace" webinar where @Jacquelinemugo2 urged em… https://t.co/hQnGbBgvVR
RT @ntvkenya: Safety and health laws in Kenya: "What we are grappling with is how to bring about ownership and how to live out the aspira…
RT @ntvkenya: Is it time to update legislation guiding occupational safety and health? - @OBurrows "There is no gap in the legislation tha…
#SafetyAtWork2021: Anticipate, prepare and respond to crisis TONIGHT from 7.30pm-9.00pm moderated by @OBurrows. P… https://t.co/GIWOHHldci
Team FKE engaged in a staff health talk on #COVID19 (Workplace Environment, Prevention & Vaccines), to support em… https://t.co/HMNqGtpfsu
@AHERI_HigherEdu You can call us through the following numbers: 0709827101 or 020 2721929/48/49/52 alternatively… https://t.co/DFr7B8Xaw4
RT @ntvkenya: #SafetyAtWork2021: Anticipate, prepare and respond to crisis TONIGHT from 7.30pm-9.00pm moderated by @OBurrows. Panelists:…
@JamesMwadeghu Not really. Minimal fee of Kes. 6,000 is charged for all the three modules.
@AHERI_HigherEdu Hello, sorry about that. Please send an email to fkehq@fke-kenya.org and copy our PR on rchitwa@fk… https://t.co/FyoDEHemTK
Register today for FKE Virtual Masterclass on Navigating Legal Issues for Effective Labour Relations and learn ab… https://t.co/BliqyHWTaI
RT @ioevoice: 🔎 How to address #employment & #labourmarket challenges brought about by #COVID19? Join @ilo, @OECD, @UNDP, @RECPress & @CGEA
FKE appealed to the #government to withdraw the implementation of the Minimum #Tax, arguing that it would add furt… https://t.co/o3L9xrnoIV
Ms. Hellen Apiyo, Ag. Labour Commissioner,Ministry of Labour urges employers to adopt a proactive approach “As we… https://t.co/ASbEbkSPdj