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Liberia: Govt. orders employers to pay all non-essential workers 50% salaries as many companies scale-down workforce

‘COVID-19 Forcing Companies to Scale-down Workforce’ 19 May 2020

Minister of Labor, Mr. Moses Kollie, says companies in Liberia are being forced to scale down their workforce due to the difficult business climate being caused coronavirus in the country. He said income generation has been a major challenge since the outbreak and has, therefore, led to the redundant of several employees. “The labor sector is being affected because it represents the human factor in producing goods and services of the economy. Many employers are complaining to sustain pre-COVID-19 wages, while employees complain about threats,” Minister Kollie said.

…The Labor Minister said, a National Tripartite Council Policy was drafted for employers and employees by stakeholders in the labor sector, which resulted to an amendment to the COVID-19 guide to help address the situation. Minister Kollie said the policy, among other things, calls for the suspension of any new discussion for collective bargaining and that all other bargaining before the end of March remains enforced.

The Labor Minister maintained that all employers pay nonessential employees 50 percent salaries and benefit beginning May 1, 2020. Minister Kollie said this mandate is not extended to government workers, but people in the private sector. “Paying nonessential workers 50 percent salaries and benefits does not cover state owned enterprises workers and employees, because government is paying all of its workers all salaries and benefits,” he averred. Since the drafting of this policy, according to him, companies and some businesses continue to work in line said guideline, while other remain committed to paying all of their employees.