Employees of Mediamax Network Limited have received consent letters days after the company declared intention to slash salaries by up to 50 per cent over the negative effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on its business.
Mediamax is the holding company of TV stations (Kameme and K24), People Daily Newspaper and Radio stations ( Emoo FM, Milele FM, Kameme FM, Msenangu (formerly Pilipili FM), Mayian FM and Meru FM).
In a letter seen by this writer, Acting Chief Executive Officer Ken Ngaruiya said the proposed 20 to 50 per cent deductions on gross pay will be effected on the month of April payslip.
The letters issued to each employee based on their job group details the new gross salary after the deduction.
Each member of staff is required to sign and return the letter by April 27, 2020, before the changes are effected on April payroll.
“In line with Labour laws and Our HR (Human Resource) policies, we are hereby seeking your formal consent before the changes are effected, ” said Ngaruiya.
The CEO didn’t state what happens if an employee fails to agree with the changes. Normally, It’s assumed that they initiate a process to terminate their contract.
“We welcome all questions and clarification that you will have with regard to this change. Kindly contact your HR Business Partner or your head of department for this purpose.”
The company has, however, promised to review the situation once normalcy resumes based on revenue, cashflow and the state of the business going forward.
Last year, the company sent home over 160 employees in a bid to reduce operating costs.
Mediamax became the first company locally to deduct employees salary by half.
Other media companies, Royal Media, Radio Africa and Standard Media Group, chose to slash the salaries by up to 30 per cent.
The media companies cited a drop in revenue as reason for the changes as companies had stopped or reduced their advertising budget following the unprecedented negative effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
Many businesses have been forced to close down with customers asked to stay at home as part of efforts to contain the spread of the contagious disease.
This, the companies said, had eaten into their profits, which relies heavily on advertising.