By Ken Ovita
Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics shows that about 250,000 jobs were shed in the 3 months leading to March 2021. This was despite the economy having showed signs of recovery from the COVID-19 hardships. This report plainly shows that COVID -19 pandemic has been a grim period for workers and businesses indicating the employment sector is trailing the ongoing economic recovery.
COVID-19 has been a huge setback for the progress on poverty eradication in Kenya. Job losses, food insecurity and impact on social lifestyles has also seen a spike in mental health cases. While many companies were shutting down or down-scaling, there are some companies that always remained fully operational and open. A good example is the Group of Companies founded and chaired by Jayesh Saini, one of the top entrepreneurs in the country.
During the height of COVID-19, Jayesh Saini vowed not to add to the challenges afflicting Kenyans by down-scaling or closing shop, despite the macro economic pressures to do so. This single act to keep his over 3,000 employees employed throughout the pandemic period in his various establishments has been key in ensuring their food security, healthcare and housing for the past one and a half years.
The efforts towards supporting his staff during this difficult time has had a big effect on his companies in terms of the personal toll it has taken to keep them afloat. However, this strain is nothing compared to the far reaching impact this has had on his staff e.g. continuation of education for staff children, effective support in the event of illness through the Bliss Healthcare network and fostering strong relationships at home leading to better mental health. This ultimately leads to better work performance.
We are not out of the woods yet as regards COVID-19, even with the lifting of the curfew recently. However, with emphasis on getting more Kenyans vaccinated and having more affordable health set ups offering quality healthcare like Bliss Healthcare, we shall make it out of this pandemic stronger and better than ever!