Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has asked government to consider extending the emergency Cash Transfer Program to employees earning the minimum wage who may possibly lose their jobs.
Ecam executive director George Khaki in an interview said on Wednesday the job market has not been spared by Covid-19 pandemic as such businesses have instituted measures to ensure survival some of which may see people losing their jobs.
He said Ecam wants government through the Ministry of Labour, to look into our labour laws on measures that could have been taken that would temporarily protect jobs such as people taking unpaid leave and considering pay cut as a better option to redundancy as the current situation was not envisaged in the current law.
“We have low level workers who are going to suffer most due to the jobs cuts. Including these in the cash transfer programme for now will go a long way in easing the burden on companies but also the employees,” he said.
Responding to the query Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training spokesperson Christina Mkutumula said the ministry hopes those employees earning around K35 000 who may lose their jobs are expected to be considered for the programme.
The Emergency Cash Transfer, which will be implemented for a period of six months, was announced by President Peter Mutharika last week as a means to support Malawians who depend on markets for their survival.
According to Mutharika government is targeting a minimum of 172 000 households, representing an estimated 35 percent of the urban population.
Earlier, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson William Banda said the cash transfer will help households to meet their basic needs and also to recover from the effects of the restrictions thereby helping them bounce back to their businesses.
“The targeting of beneficiaries will focus on hot spots in disadvantaged locations where most petty traders live. Households in those areas will be targeted,” Banda said.
The programme, according to government, will be implemented for a period of six months translating into three months of response and three months of recovery.