The voluntary retrenchment exercise at the Pupkewitz Group, offered to all its 1 860 employees, has been concluded, with most of the employees opting to take early retirement to use the proceeds to start up their own business or invest in livestock.
According to a spokesperson for the Group, the exercise has allowed for consolidation and reshuffling within the Group, thereby minimising the impact of the retrenchments.
According to Pupkewitz Holdings Marketing Executive, Rosemary Shippiki, all the employees who elected to take the voluntary severance package were offered assistance by way of counselling, as well as the opportunity to attend re-skilling courses. She noted that the majority of staff chose to make use of this offer and were individually attended by Group management and external specialist consultants.
“That some employees chose to take up the opportunity for a voluntary severance package allowed the Group to reshuffle employees and optimise the workforce for the current economic crisis Namibia is experiencing. This has been achieved with a limited number of retrenchments and minimal disruption to employees and their families,” said Shippiki.
Responding to New Era questions, Shippiki stated the voluntary severance process allowed the Group to align staffing levels with the current economic climate and by ensuring sustainable staffing levels are sustainable, the Group is able to weather the worst of the economic turbulence. Shippiki explained the Group has had to review its branch footprint and realign staffing numbers to the reduced level of economic activity. As a result, the Group closed one small motor dealership in the north and merged two dealerships at the coast. She added that no further closures are envisaged, provided actual economic performance match current projections for the Namibian economy over the medium-term.
Said Shippiki: “Expense management has been optimised and functions rationalised, eliminated or merged to ensure efficiencies and sustainability. Non-core functions have either been repurposed or phased out”.
The Pupkewitz Group has responded to the economic decline since 2018 by proactively freezing vacancies, cutting expenditure and optimising stockholding and working capital.
“Accordingly, the substantial cost of adjusting to the economic realities whilst ensuring stability and sustainability was already a focus area for 18 months prior to the onset of Covid-19 and has been of great effect in minimising the impact of the restructuring on our staff and their families. The impact of the Covid-19 and its multiplier effect on the global economy has, however, had a very negative effect on the disposable income of majority of the Group’s customer base, and the very subdued (if any) recovery post-Covid-19 lockdown has meant that the Group has experienced very tough trading conditions,” Shippiki concluded.
2020-07-30 11:34:48 | 2 months ago