Close to 9 000 lose their jobs

06 November 2020 | Labour



About 8 881 workers were fired by 607 companies between April and September this year, nine times more than during the same period last year, labour minister Utoni Nujoma said yesterday.

He said this during the inauguration of the ministry’s new office building in Windhoek.

Nujoma added that the Labour Commissioner’s office also received 2 631 dispute referrals during this period, compared to 2 640 for the same period last year.

“During the major part of this year, the labour and employment sector went through a difficult time of an economic downturn due to Covid-19, and countless workers lost their jobs and income while businesses struggled to remain operational and profitable,” he said.

According to him, strengthening and solidifying a sustainable safety net for workers and employers by ensuring an effective regulatory framework and compliance remains a priority for the labour ministry.

Job insecurity

“Our country, and specifically the labour and employment sector, faces critical challenges relating to job insecurity, income reduction and business decline as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Covid-19 has now redirected our way of delivering government services, including the need to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as it comes with some solutions to some of our ‘new normal’ problems.

“Covid-19 further cemented the notion that the future of business enterprises and the future of employment are inseparable,” said Nujoma.

He added that now, more than ever, workers, employers and government must work together in new ways to achieve an employment-centred national recovery towards achieving Vision 2030.

Setting priorities

Nujoma said he has familiarised himself in greater depth with the key issues facing Namibia in the areas of labour, industrial relations and employment creation, and reconsidered setting priorities for the work of the ministry.

“A major objective of government is to enhance accessibility to services in order to make sure that no one should feel left out.

“It is also essential that the public and other stakeholders remain informed about services and institutions that render such services,” he said.

[email protected]

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