On Sunday, March 15, President Uhuru Kenyatta urged employers, including the government to allow employees to work from home to curb the spread of COVID-19 that has put crippled economies globally.
“Where possible, government offices, businesses and companies are encouraged to allow employees to work from home with the exception of employees working in critical or essential services,” urged the president.
Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Hitachi, Apple, Amazon and Spotify are among some of the companies that have rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the COVID-19.
However, the President failed to address how Kenyans will work remotely given that home broadband is still considered a largely luxury service in most households. And some employers have taken advantage of the whole Coronavirus epidemic to sit on employees salaries.
IZWE Loans Kenya
Izwe Kenya is a non-deposit-taking financial institution authorised by the government of Kenya to offer unsecured check-off loans to all civil servants, TSC members in all counties, as well as selected parastatals and private institutions.
Others like Izwe Loans Kenya has selectively chosen those who can work from home and others choose either to report daily to poorly spaced offices or quit.
Here is a confession exclusively sent to Kenyan Bulletin’s News Desk by an insider in the loaning firm.
I’m so hurt as I write this, what is the government doing to protect employees? IZWE Loans Kenya is doing BLATANT DISCRIMINATION. How can some employees be working from home while others have to suffer the curfew and possible infection every day? I’m talking about the call centre staff here.
So by the time the first case of the COVID-19 virus was announced, the gov’t announced a 1.5m social distancing precautionary measure. That was when it was agreed that we shall be working in weekly shifts. During the first week, the employees at work were provided with modems and PCs to work from home.
Now the second lot that has been at work this week has been met with a rude shock. Instead of the same caring treatment, they have to either keep on working or go on mandatory leave. You’re told there are no modems, kwani how much are those things? Seriously, is this even fair?
Even if there are none, how about the two groups swap shifts? Or even report to work as previously agreed? If there are measures to be taken, let them be taken uniformly throughout the company.
Is it too much to ask for fairness? The managers have cars, they are driven to work every day. You have to scramble for matatus at the risk of getting infected. Are the lower employees immune from the virus?
Keep in mind the fare is now hiked to impossible levels. How are we supposed to survive? Some of us have families, please someone tag DCI Kenya and Labour Officials …anyone else involved. Is there anyone else who’s going through the same?
On their official blog, Izwe Loans has published their response on the acts and directives being followed to reduce the spread of this deadly Chinese Virus.
Acting to reduce the spread of Covid-19
The health of our community, our customers and the Izwe Team are always of the upmost importance to us, especially during these uncertain times. Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and therefore a very serious public health issue to us all if each of us do not contribute to its containment. Izwe is committed to doing all we can to ensure that we are responsible in our actions to curb the spread of Covid-19 while allowing our customers ongoing access to our products and services in the safest possible way.
As a result, our branches and call centres will keep to normal operating hours and all customers will be provided with hand sanitiser upon entry to our branches. All our surfaces, handles and railings will be regularly and properly disinfected and our front line staff will be wearing masks for your protection. Our staff have been educated and trained to avoid all physical contact while still providing you with the service levels that you expect.
In accordance with the respective authorities and governments, Izwe will continue to take additional measures and decisions to further amplify hygiene measures in all our interactions with our customers. We encourage you to use our digital channels and are working tirelessly to reinforce any and all actions that will contribute to better social distancing practices.
We urge everyone to continue taking the necessary steps to preserve their own safety and that of their families by following the guidelines provided by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases at all times.
Thank you to our valued customers and stakeholders for their loyalty and support as we rally together for the common good of our nation and its people.