THE Retrenchment Board is considering applications by three companies, Champions Insurance, Letombo Spar and Blue Star Logistics to lay off workers amid plans by the board to introduce more stringent requirements before companies get approval to retrench staff, businessdigest has established.
The 12-member board was scheduled to meet yesterday to assess the applications by the three companies. Champions Insurance is looking to retrench 22 workers while Blue Star Logistics, a subsidiary of Star Africa Corporation, whose application to retrench 67 workers was recently approved by the board, is looking to lay off 18 workers, sources said.
However, the number of workers that Letombo Spar is looking to retrench could not be ascertained at the time of going to press.
This adds to the 600 workers that have already been retrenched this year and an estimated 7000 employees laid off last year which is a major cause of concern for the board, sources revealed.
This comes hot on the heels of the board approving the laying off of 170 workers from two companies, Hunyani Holdings Ltd and Innscor Africa Ltd on March 5 this year as well the retrenchment of 24 workers from Carswell Meats and Montana Meats.
The alarming number of retrenchments has spurred the board to consider introducing a number of requirements before companies get the approval to retrench workers, sources revealed.
Among the requirements, employers will be required to submit include the wage bill before and after retrenching workers setting the stage for a bruising showdown with employers.
“It is going to be a very serious fight with business because besides looking at the difference in wage bill after retrenchment, we will also need to see their salary structures, and both executive and director fees as well as all allowances including school fees paid to their children,” an insider revealed.
The board, sources said, has engaged some members of the business community who according to them “were shocked” at the proposed requirements.
At least 52 companies retrenched last year.
These include Grain Marketing Board, Zimbabwe Fertiliser Company, Nissan Zimbabwe, PG Industries, First Mutual, Tristar Insurance, Cargill, Beta Bricks, Tetrad Investment Bank, Stewart Bank, CFI Holdings and Metbank.
The high number of retrenchments have severely reduced the government’s tax base prompting government to suspend bonuses for civil servants in 2015 and 2016.