Be measured when laying-off workers in COVID-19 times – Labour expert advises employers


The National Project cocoordinator for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) SCORE Ghana, Mr. Samuel Onoma Asiedu, has advised employers to be measured when laying-off workers as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a toll on households.

He appealed for employers to consider all factors before laying-off workers, since the country’s labour force is critical for economic stability and well-being.

“Technically, psychologically and socially, it is wrong. You might end up losing critical staff that you may not be able to bring back, and it will affect the organisation’s culture,” Mr. Onoma Asiedu said.

Advising employers to be circumspect when laying-off workers, he stated that most workers who lost their jobs in the first wave of the pandemic are still jobless; hence, laying-off more workers could be dire.

“The only sectors surviving this critical situation are pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, and maybe food vendors,” Mr. Onoma Asiedu said.

Citing some sectors of the economy that have been badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Onoma Asiedu mentioned that tourism, entertainment and event organisers are struggling to stabilise their operations.


Mr. Onoma Asiedu recommended that business owners must comply with the labour law, and should negotiate pay cuts with workers.

He advised that both parties in a workplace can also reach a mutual agreement to terminate contracts if the need be.

“Early retirement is also another option, then you can finally come to the last resort – which is laying-off workers.”

He stated that all these must be done in agreement with the rights of workers based on the National Labour laws and employment contract.

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