Royal Media Services (RMS) has notified all its employees of a plan to reduce their gross salary by 20-30 per cent due to adverse economic effect posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a memo addressed to all members of staff dated March 27, RMS Group Managing Director Wachira Waruru stated that the “temporary” deductions will come into effect from April 1, 2020.
Waruru, however, noted that the salary cuts will be based on the employees’ job levels.
“The unprecedented outbreak of the coronavirus in the world and Kenya, in particular, has had serious repercussions on businesses, including ours. This reality necessitates that we take difficult but necessary measures to see us through this period, ” the memo reads in part.
“…Each staff will be issued with their individual letter through their supervisor. This reduction is temporary and will be reversed when things return to normal.”
RMS further announced that some of the employees will be forced to take leave as the company scales down operations until the situation normalizes.
“Media being an essential service, a scaled-down operation will continue with minimal staff, ” said Waruru.
“The Directors will communicate the names of the members of staff who will be working on a shift system. In order to reduce exposure, all other staff will proceed to take their accrued leave and if exhausted, leave in advance until further notice.”
The media boss urged the employees to take the decision positively.
“Though the above measures are hard and drastic, we urge all to take this move positively. Our commitment is to ensure that staff are able to meet their needs during this very difficult time, ” said Waruru.
“While on leave, kindly ensure that you follow the government directives to observe hygiene and social distancing protocols. Kindly keep all your lines of communication open should there be need to recall you Our different support teams will be available to anyone who needs help whether at work or from home.”
He added, “We will constantly review all or some of these measures as the situation dictates and advice accordingly.”
The Samuel Macharia-owned media house runs two TV stations, Citizen TV and Inooro TV and a number of Radio stations including popular Radio Citizen.
The media industry has in the recent past been hit hard following the exit of betting firms, SportPesa and Betin, from the Kenyan market — the media industry heavily relied on the sporting companies for revenue.