Ecam confronts government on Covid-19 decisions

BOTTOMANI—The Ministry of Labour has submitted measures to us

Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has expressed dissatisfaction with the way government is handling the Covid-19 pandemic which the association says is negatively affecting the business community.

Ecam Executive Director, George Khaki, has told The Daily Times that among others, government has ignored the employers in the decision making process when coming up with measures to fight the pandemic.

He said currently, the tourism and travel sector has been hugely affected by the pandemic forcing employers to opt for retrenchment.


Khaki further indicated that the business owners do not have any representative in the special committees set by government to fight the Covid-19 outbreak, a situation which causes authorities to be making decisions that are being imposed on the employers.

“There is no business seat in there, therefore, we are not surprised that the decisions that are coming out from this committee do not reflect the reality on the ground, and do not respond to business concerns,” he said.

He further alluded that the country does not have regulations to give options to employers of reducing pay for workers that are going to work during emergencies like the current one, or let employees go on unpaid leave.


This, Khaki says has left the business sector with no option: “to the extent that instead of retaining the employees, many companies are simply retrenching them.”

Responding to the employers’ outcry, Minister of Information, Mark Bottomani, said the employers are being represented by the Ministry of labour, adding that government will announce the additional measures soon as recommended by the Labour Ministry.

“The Ministry of Labour has submitted measures to us, we have considered them and we will be announcing them soon.

“So the Employers Consultative Association [of Malawi] they should know that they are represented through the engagement we have had with their ministry,” Bottomani said.

The Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the whole world has caused some countries to close their borders making it impossible for countries like Malawi to import other necessities including raw materials.

Ecam’s primary role is to promote, guide and protect employers’ interests in labour, employment and socio-economic issues.

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