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Why MultiChoice is suspending plan to sack 2000 employees, for now

Few days after MultiChoice announced that it will be sacking over 2000 employees across its customer centers and walk-in centers, the company has suspended the decision.

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DStv denies social media reports alleging it has been “hacked”, MultiChoice suspends sack of 2000 employees, MultiChoice to sack 2000 employees, MultiChoice, Naspers, Johannesburg Stock Exchange

Few days after MultiChoice announced that it will be sacking over 2000 employees across its customer centers and walk-in centers, the company has suspended the decision. However, the jobs of these staff members are still not safe.

The job cuts, which were planned to happen across all MultiChoice centers in Africa, was put aside to entertain consultations with the employees. The parent company of DSTV and GOTV didn’t, however, cancel the planned sack. The delay is only expected to affect the timing and number of employees that will eventually be retrenched.

Recall that the pay-tv company had announced that it intends to restructure its customer service delivery model. The restructuring was initially expected to result in some 2000 employees losing their jobs. The company blamed it all on what it called “customers’ behaviour”.

[READ ALSO: Here’s why Naspers is not making money out of MultiChoice]

According to MultiChoice, more subscribers now prefer to use the company’s self-service to conduct transactions. The customers also use MultiChoice’s social media platforms to interact with the company instead of the walk-in centers. For this reason, there is need to sack some employees because the company’s walk-in centres are becoming redundant.

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MultiChoice suspends sack of 2000 employees, MultiChoice to sack 2000 employees

MultiChoice office

Meanwhile, the move was highly criticised, a situation that compelled the company to allow the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation, and Arbitration (CCMA) to lead the process of retrenchment, starting with consultations on Friday, June 28, 2019.

Labour Act fights back against MultiChoice: Another factor that could have stopped the pay-tv in its tracks was the Labour Act which frowns at large-scale retrenchments. While the Labour Relations Act allows employers to dismiss employees for reasons of operational requirements, the Section 189 of the LRA makes it difficult for companies to sack employees at large-scale retrenchments; the breach of the act could spell doom for the company.

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[READ ALSO: Naspers divests from MultiChoice]

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The sack is still happening: Once again, bear in mind that the suspension is only intended to allow for a more coordinated approach towards addressing the situation. At the end, it is expected to save some jobs, as MultiChoice looks to retain multi-skilled employees who are tech-savvy enough to be incorporated into the company’s new customer service delivery mode.

Commenting on the suspension, the company said the first consultation meeting, which “will be facilitated by an independent commissioner from the CCMA, will go ahead as planned and there will be further communication in due course.”

[READ FURTHER: Explained: The Unexplained Wealth Order and how it affects rich Nigerians]

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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COVID-19: FG to launch Rapid Response Register for urban poor

The FG has moved to inaugurate an emergency intervention database for the poor residing in urban centres and affected by the pandemic.

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Nigeria blows past 40,000 COVID-19 cases

The Federal Government has announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.

This was disclosed by Mr. Joe Abuku, Communications Manager, National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO), on Sunday in Abuja.

Mr. Abuku said the register would identify Nigerians that have been made poorer due to the pandemic, targeting mainly Traders and SME Owners.

He added that the scheme was designed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, through NASSCO, in partnership with the World Bank, and will be inaugurated by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

What Joe Abuku is saying

  • “This register is being built by NASSCO as an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.
  • “Others are low wage employed individuals and families, including daily wage-based laborers, urban poor and destitute (persons with disabilities), and vulnerable families in slum areas, affected by the pandemic.
  • “The category of Nigerians who will be in this register is typically the urban/semi-urban poor engaged in the informal sectors of the economy, who lost their source of livelihood due to the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and jobs. The Federal Government plans to extend cash transfers to households in this register for a period of 12 months.”

He also stated that NASSCO would use geographical satellite sensing to locale the wards where the urban poor live, as the targeting of the poor would be done via cell phone Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology that allows residents of targeted communities register to be assisted by following simple steps using USSD codes.

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The SMS approach would be integrated through data gathered by the National Living Standard Survey Assessments and would be complemented by existing databases of Non-Governmental Organisations and local self-help-support groups.

  • “Mobile phone numbers of those deemed eligible for assistance will be linked to digitized bank accounts to receive cash support, under an expanded cash transfer program of the Federal Government. These cash payments are designed to boost consumption for these households, build their resilience, and in some cases, inject fresh capital into small businesses.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported last year that the World Bank said the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic could make an additional 5 million Nigerians poor.
  • The Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2020 by the World Bank Group indicate that between 88 million and 115 million people could fall back into extreme poverty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This is in addition to an increase between 23 million and 35 million in 2021, potentially bringing the total number of new people living in extreme poverty to between 110 million and 150 million.

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Covid-19: Nigeria needs serious controls not a second lockdown – House Committee on Education

A member of the lower legislative house has advised the government to focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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Professor Julius Ihonvbere, Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education & Services, said the Federal and States governments should not impose a lockdown, but rather focus on serious control measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

He disclosed this during an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

  • “I do not think we need a national lockdown now, I think what we need now is the first instance is serious controls. Let me say that the Governor of Lagos is the ‘poster man’ for the fight against covid-19. If we see you outside without a mask, we will arrest you and charge you to court, that is the kind of courage we need.”

He cited serious controls like buying hand sanitizers and washing materials to schools and urban areas in Lagos as part of the controls that should be commended.

  • “The issue is not a lockdown. If you lock people down, and you are not doing the right thing inside the lockdown, the cases will still increase. They (masses) will break it and will challenge it as they did during the first lockdown. So, the real issue is to bring out the policies and implement them.
  • “The Federal Ministry as a supervisor, yes states have the autonomy, but we give the state’s money from UBEC every year, we give them billions, what are they doing with it?

He urged that the FG should investigate what States use their Universal Basic Education Funds for, as Nigeria is in a time for “retooling and repurpose” and UBEC funding should be utilized in the fight against Covid-19.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government said Nigeria is not contemplating another lockdown and urged Nigerians to ignore social media posts circulating the possibility of another lockdown.

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Covid-19: Ghana’s healthcare could be overwhelmed – President Akufo-Addo

Ghanaian President has warned that he might impose a partial lockdown as healthcare facilities are overwhelmed by growing cases of coronavirus.

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Africa: Ghanaian inflation rate drops for the 3rd straight month to 10.1%, Ghana’s cedi becomes investors’ best choice ahead Nigeria’s naira, Ghana restricts flights into country after detecting Coronavirus but Nigeria ignores measure

The Ghanaian Government has warned that Ghana’s second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is rising fast and could overwhelm its already extended Covid-19 treatment centres.

This was disclosed by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday in a Reuters report.

The Ghanaian President warned that he might impose a partial lockdown in the coming weeks as cases might reach peak levels.

Active cases in Ghana climbed to 1,924 from about 900 since the 5th of January. He also confirmed that the new variant was present in the country, as cases were imported from people entering Ghana.

The President said,

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  • “Our COVID-19 treatment centres have gone from having zero patients to now being full because of the upsurge in infections. At this current rate, our healthcare infrastructure will be overwhelmed.
  • “Work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.”

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country were running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections, as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.

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