Leading hotelier, State-owned enterprise Windhoek Country Club and Casino, has cut salaries of many workers, including its executives and senior managers by 50% as Covid-19 takes a toll on the hospitality industry.
This is despite government earlier last month urging employers to ensure all employees are fully remunerated for March and April.
“It has been noted there are some employers who are forcing their employees to take annual leave or unpaid leave. This practice should be avoided at all cost and if any kind of leave to be taken, it should be mutually agreed. Forced unpaid leave is illegal and hence unacceptable,” Labour executive director Bro-Matthew Shinguandja stated late last month.
In a notice to employees, Windhoek Country Club and Casino general manager Tony Boucher last week said due to the extension of the lockdown, the resort has no other option but to reduce working hours and salaries to avoid the no-work, no-pay policy or possible retrenchments.
“We hereby inform you that the employer has no option but to implement section 12 (6) of the Labour Act, with an effective date of 18 April 2020 until 4 May 2020,” Boucher informed employees through an internal letter.
Meanwhile, government last month availed an economic stimulus package of N$8.1 billion to minimise the expected coronavirus economic fallout.
As part of the package, government will provide a wage subsidy of N$400 million to aid businesses in keeping employees on board in the travel, tourism, aviation and construction sectors.
Also, the package is directed to labour and households for job retention, to mitigate the negative impact on income, as well as to provide for the basic amenities for households, such as potable water.
The N$8.1 billion comprises N$5.9 billion as direct support to businesses, households and cash flow acceleration payments for services rendered to government, as well as N$2.3 billion of additional support, guaranteed by government but off the balance sheet of government liabilities to support loan uptake on preferential terms by businesses and individuals. Also, government will accelerate repayments of overdue and undisputed VAT refunds to enhance the cash flow of enterprises paying VAT. The total amount of the refunds to be settled within one week of the implementation of these measures stands about N$3.0 billion.
Government will also accelerate payments of overdue and undisputed invoices for goods and services it received, which stands at N$800 million to boost the cash flow of enterprises that are suppliers to government.