Ethiopia Prohibits Company Layoffs Under State of Emergency

(Bloomberg) — Ethiopia prohibited companies from laying off workers and terminating employment in measures introduced as part of a state of emergency to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The rules announced Saturday also ban meetings of more than four people for religious, government and other organizations, including political gatherings, Adanech Abiebie, the attorney general, said in a statement.

The nation could lose as many as 2 million jobs because of the pandemic over the next three months, Ephrem Lemango, commissioner at the Jobs Creation Commission, said Thursday in a webinar.

The new rules prohibit the eviction of tenants and rent increases, and halt prison visits. However, burials and “other important activities” are allowed provided participants maintain a distance of two meters.

While the government has closed schools and land borders, and postponed general elections initially scheduled for Aug. 29, its national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, is still flying to some destinations.

The Horn of Africa nation had 69 confirmed Covid-19 cases as of April 11, and three deaths.

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