President Peter Mutharika has urged employers in the country to treat their workers with a human face amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis which has already seen some people losing jobs.
In his message to mark Labour Day commemoration yesterday, the President asked employers and employees to maintain the spirit of engagement and listening to one another while together fighting the pandemic to ensure lives return to normal.
Just like other countries, Malawi is this year commemorating the day mutely due to the devastating Covid-19 which has so far claimed lives of three people in the country from 37 recorded cases out of which seven have recovered from the disease.
Mutharika noted this year’s Labour Day has come at an unprecedented time in history as the world is struggling and experiencing a difficult time with the pandemic that has spared nobody.
“The pandemic has affected economies as many companies are unable to function to their optimum capacity and are finding it difficult to keep all their workers in the job,” reads the message signed by presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalirani.
The Malawi leader said he understood the situation employers have found themselves in due to the pandemic as such government would implement more measures to save jobs.
“That is why government has instituted a number of relief measures such as the Voluntary Tax Compliance Window and a directive to the Reserve Bank of Malawi to implement a win-win arrangement with commercial banks and micro-finance institutions to observe a three-month moratorium on interests on loans. The aim is to protect businesses and help them to survive in this difficult time,” reads his message.
Mutharika then applauded all companies and businesses that are working with government to protect workers from coronavirus and to ensure they maintain their jobs.
Workers’ rights activist Robert Mkwezalamba observed it was a sad moment for workers as they are commemorating their day at a time some of their friends are losing jobs due to coronavirus.
“It is a sad moment. But we expect employers to take care of their workers and respect labour rights,” said Mkwezalamba, chairperson of Human Rights Consultative Council.