Zuku Kenya issues a Retrenchment Notice to Workers
Zuku Kenya is the latest company to announce plans to lay off staff members as part of the “restructuring” process.
The layoffs have been linked to planned merger of businesses following slow growth since its entry into the Kenya market.
The Wananchi Group subsidiary has been struggling to expand its operations in a market dominated by Gotv and its elder Dstv.
The company is estimated to have about 1,000 employees and unconfirmed reports suggest that the company could sack over 25% this year. This translates into over 300 people.
The Director of Human Resources at Wananchi Group Mr. Dismas Omondi said that a number of people have to be cut off because of the “re-integration and alignment” to the important reporting structure.
Job loss is one of the scariest things to employees. It is no wonder that tension and anxiety have engulfed the company’s staff even as the company identifies positions that will be affected.
As required by the law, those who will be axed will receive severance pay. This is calculated at 15 days for every year work. They will also receive ex-gratia pay of a month for every year they have worked for the company, accumulated leave that is untaken, and benefits from the pension scheme.
The job cuts come at a time that Wananchi Group is engaged in war with its shareholders.
Zuku’s struggles to gain traction
The company has been struggling to expand its operations in Kenya. This has resulted in slow growth.
Multichoice, the owners of Dstv and Gotv have a big market share leaving only a small share of the market to other players. This company has managed to control the market and this can, in part, be attributed to the exclusive rights to air the English Premier League.
The “Restructuring” Tradition Taking Root in Kenya
Zuku is not the only company upholding the restructuring tradition, SuperSport recently laid off 100 Kenyan employees. These included presenters, technicians, camera crew, office cleaners, freelancers and sports analysts.
One other industry that has been affected is the financial sector. Banks have continued to lay off its employees as a result of technological advancements.
Businesses have a right to restructure but this often leads to redundancies. Companies are careful enough avoid claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination. That is why they try to make the redundancies sound like they are based on genuine reasons.
In the past, financial circumstances of the company have been quoted as the reasons behind mass layoffs. Today, most companies are rendering employees redundant thanks to technological innovations. Technology has made a lot of positions obsolete or unnecessary.
Let’s be honest for once, restructuring is a word thrown around by companies that are not making money.
It can also be a sneaky way for companies to get rid of employees to reduce the cost of operations.
Either way, they will never truly give the whole picture of what happens behind those closed doors.
To the affected, this is not the end. In any case, it is a time to explore new opportunities.