The Ghana Employers’ Association says even if government offers support to businesses; that will not guarantee jobs for all workers as layoffs could still happen based on individual company’s level of impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Employers’ Association wants government to support its members to pay salaries, improve their working capital and defer VAT and income tax payments for some time; but the government is yet to respond to these requests.
A similar support to Nigerian banks by their central bank has compelled the employers not to lay off workers.
Explaining how this could possibly be replicated in Ghana, President of the Ghana Employers’ Association, Alex Frimpong, told Citi Business News that decision would have to be determined by respective organizations.
“Business exist at the benevolence of society, so employers have the responsibility to ensure that even though they will be looking at the economic and financial aspect, the social impact of whatever decisions they take, becomes quite paramount. But at the end of the day they need to do the balancing to make sure that while the business survives, employees must also survive and therefore the society must also be stable.”
“…So, these are matters that entrepreneurs, businesses do everyday, and I am sure a lot of them have also done their analysis. So, if we have attractive stimulus packages, I am sure the businesses will be able to take that in their strides, but I think the discussions concerning the modalities and the terms are still ongoing. So at the end of the day, business would have to make a determination as to how they would take advantage of the packages that will be put in place,” he stated.
Following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus, the rapidly growing economic effects on the world of work, and the measures taken to deal with it, are proving to be far worse as many individuals are at high risk of losing their jobs.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is already lamenting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy as developments that necessitated a lockdown of some parts of the country has led to some job losses with many more people likely to lose their jobs in the coming months.
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), globally, 25 million jobs have also been threatened by the pandemic.
Disbursement of GHS600m stimulus package for SMEs to begin in May
Last month, President Akufo-Addo announced that the disbursement of the six hundred million cedis (GHS600 million) stimulus package for micro, small and medium-scale businesses is expected to start in May.
According to the President, the stimulus package, which forms part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme is part of the various interventions to mitigate the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on businesses, individuals and households.
The GHS600m soft loan scheme will have a one-year moratorium and two years repayment period for micro, small and medium scale businesses.