SUNBIZ

Motibhai Group To Lay Off 260 Employees

Mr Patel said the group had initially introduced temporary measures aimed at reducing costs in the hope that the economic situation would soon stabilise to allow for a quick return to normal.
15 May 2020 10:32
Motibhai Group To Lay Off 260 Employees

Motibhai Group will lay off about 260 employers, citing the measure as a fair and lawful way forward for its employees, according to information sighted by the Fiji Sun.

As a result of the serious economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Motibhai Group has communicated with more than 200 of its employees its intention to implement redundancies, Motibhai Group director Rajesh Patel in response to queries from Sun Business earlier this week confirmed yesterday. He said workers would be lawfully compensated to allow them to look at their own best economic options.

“Redundancies will allow the staff for whom we no longer have work, to receive their entitlements, and pursue other options to support themselves and their families,” he said.

The majority of workers who will be made redundant were employed in the tourism arm of the Motibhai Group,  including retail operations for the tourism industry, at Nadi International Airport and in many upmarket resorts, all of which were closed following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Patel said the group had initially introduced temporary measures aimed at reducing costs in the hope that the economic situation would soon stabilise to allow for a quick return to normal.

“However, it has become clear from international developments that business activity will remain well below normal levels for many months.”

The Group does not believe that business will return to previous levels until at least 2021, Mr Patel said.

He said the selection of staff for potential redundancy was on a “last in, first-out” basis.

An internal memo from the Motibhai Group said: “ While we seriously considered whether we should stand you down or leave without pay for an indefinite period, this would not only leave you without any income but would also be unable to seek alternative employment while you wait to return to work.

“A redundancy, on the other hand, will free you to pursue other options to support yourself and your family.”

The memo said 260 workers were identified across the group for redundancy.

Motibhai also owns and operates The Fiji Times. But it is understood the redundancy plan does not include the newspaper.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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