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Mauritius Trade Unions fear massive lay-offs as from the New Year



Mauritius Trade Unions fear massive lay-offs as from the New Year

Trade unions of Mauritius are reportedly anxious about the expiry of a government notice prohibiting companies from laying off employees for economic reasons.

With the notice expiring on 31 December 2022, unions fear several companies could be “getting rid” of a fraction of their labour force. They have called for the extension of the measure, which was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to save jobs.

Employers, on the other hand, have been cited as saying that “it is quite normal that this prohibition should come to an end.”

The Confederation of Private Sector Workers has reiterated the fears of a recession in 2023, as mentioned by the World Bank, and has already asked the government to extend the measure.

Global recession

“Economic recovery is slow and we are not out of the woods yet. The World Bank has said that a global economic recession is coming. If employers are allowed to fire employees, all the protections they have enjoyed over the past two years will be lost,” spokesperson Reaz Chuttoo was cited as saying.

The unionist said he is waiting for a response from the Ministry of Labour on this issue. “We maintain that three quarters of the redundancies are taking place because employers want to increase their profits and not because they are struggling.”

Similar concerns have been raised by the United Federation of Workers. Spokesperson Atma Shanto reportedly fears “many people will be fired” at the end of December. “A Rs 1,000 salary compensation next year does not mean that companies can do whatever they want. The government must extend the prohibition.”

On the government side, “nothing is certain”. Insiders were quoted as saying that “employers had lobbied, during budget discussions, to have this ban lifted, but the Minister of Finance extended it until 31 December 2022.”


Business Mauritius said the state came to the rescue of families by granting the Government Wage Assistance Scheme to employees. “We now feel that this prohibition should be lifted, as were the other measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic” Pradeep Dursun, Chief Operating Officer of Business Mauritius told Defi Media.

“When a company goes through a restructuring exercise, a person who is laid off is employed by some other company. There is a flow in the labour market. If a company is not allowed to restructure, it will not be competitive, it will accumulate debts and it will go bankrupt.”

Source: Defi Media

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