The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) has appealed to employers not to slash salaries at this time of the COVID-19 although the pandemic is having a negative impact on businesses.
Government has made available GHS600milion stimulus package to support businesses to ease the pressure on their operations as a result of the pandemic.
The Secretary-General of the ICU, Mr Solomon Kotei, believes that this package should support businesses in managing the effect of the deadly virus on their operations.
“We do not expect cut of salaries. What we expect is that, assuming we are all to take our annual leave at this time anybody who goes on leave should be paid,” he told TV3.
Meanwhile, Mr Alex Frimpong, CEO OF Ghana Employers Association, has said this is not the time for employers to consider laying off workers.
He said also although businesses are struggling following the pandemic, the government’s GHS600million stimulus package should support their businesses to maintain workers.
He told Winston Amoah on Joy News on Wednesday April 29 that : “The fate of employees are linked to the survival of the business and I can say that the last thing you want to do is to lay off because with the requested skills you can deliver so the last thing you want to consider is to lay off.
“That is why it is important that the stimulus package should really keep business afloat until the pandemic is over.”
For his part, an economist, Professor Peter Quartey has advised businesses that will benefit from the GHS600million stimulus package from the government to invest the money into their businesses for profit.
He said the package is a soft loan that the businesses will repay hence, the need to invest the money for profit.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has announced during his 7th COVID-19 national address to Ghanaians on Sunday, 19th April 2020, that Government will start disbursing the GH¢600 million stimulus package to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in May this year as part of efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 on businesses.
He explained that the GHS600m forms part of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme.
“I know the effects of the measures to contain the virus have been difficult for many, and that is why I mandated the creation of the GH¢1.2 billion Coronavirus Alleviation Programme to support households and businesses.
“Out of this amount, six hundred million cedis (GH¢600 million) of assistance is being provided to micro, small and medium-scale businesses. I expect disbursements of the six hundred million cedis to start in May,” he stated.
Speaking on Joy TV, Wednesday April 29, Prof Quatey who is also the Director of the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana noted that this is not moneys for consumption rather for investment.
“Loans are not for consumption, they are for investment. If you take a loan and consume you will not be able to repay , that is basic fact , you need to invest it . If it is a free money or grant that one you don’t have to repay.”