DSM Place, the head offices of Mediamax Network Ltd. The media company has announced plans to retrench staff www.businesstoday.co.ke
DSM Place, the head offices of Mediamax Network Ltd. Mediamax has sealed off one of its floors after a staffer tested positive for COVID-19 Mediamax[Photo / Business Today/File]

Mediamax Network Ltd has announced fresh retrenchment plans days after retiring employees aged over 60 years without the option of working on contract in a move aimed at trimming down the payroll.

In a notice to the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, Acting CEO Ken Ngaruiya said the company has been forced by the recent economic downturn and loss of its major revenue streams to reorganise its staff structure and abolish some positions as part of its cost-cutting measures.

“In view of the above, the services of some of its employees will be rendered superfluous thereby necessitating the termination of their employment on account of redundancy. In accordance with the provisions of Section 40 of the Employment Act, Mediamax Network Limited hereby gives one (1) month’s notice of the intended redundancies,” said Ngaruiya in the letter to the Nairobi Labour County Officer.

Affected employees will be given one month’s notice or alternatively paid one month’ s salary in lieu of notice and severance pay at the rate of 15 days pay for each year of service.

Further, the affected employees will be paid their salary for the period up to and including the date of termination and all accruing benefits, including any leave days earned and not taken.

Mediamax is among news organisations that are reeling from the government crackdown on major betting companies in the country, including SportPesa and Betin which have been forced to cease operations, as well as a government and corporate squeeze on ad spend.

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In a memo to accounting officers of government ministries, departments and agencies, Acting National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yattani last week directed them to henceforth stop the usage of newspaper supplements to publicise strategic plans, service charters or events and emphasise the use of ministry’s websites.

Purchase of the copies of newspapers by MDAs will also be reduced to one-quarter of the current order.

Betting firms render staff redundant

At the weekend, Betin declared its employees will be rendered redundant with effect from October 31, 2019 citing the deterioration of the profitability with the management has had to rethink its operations model.

On its part, SportPesa protested the imposition of a 20% excise tax on winnings such a time that adequate taxation and non-hostile regulatory environment is returned, the brand will halt operations in the country.

The latest retrenchment spree by Mediamax comes even as the media house, which is associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, seeks to recruit staff in key sections.

For instance, veteran political writer Oscar Obonyo has hired to anchor the political desk at People Daily.

However, there are reports that some TV anchors recently poached from rival stations on stellar pay have had to renegotiate term and take lower salaries.

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