GRIZZLY Mining Company has, with immediate effect, sent half of its entire workforce on forced leave in the wake of coronavirus and implemented stringent measures designed to minimise chances of exposing its employees to the pandemic.
Apart from those sent on paid forced leave, the company has identified others as non-essential employees who have been directed to work from home, in compliance with Government directive of encouraging non-essential workers to operate from home.
Group human resources manager Davy Phiri, who confirmed the development yesterday, said the decision to send half of 822 employees on paid two-month forced leave, would contribute to efforts meant to prevent the spread of the disease.
Mr Phiri said although management had proposed two months of forced leave for the affected employees, the decision would be reviewed depending on the situation regarding the COVID-19 and the workers may be recalled before the expiry of 60 days.
Other measures the emerald mining company has put in place, include reduction of vendors on the mine site, stopping all expatriate employees from leaving the mine site until the situation is declared safe and free from COVID-19 and prohibiting all expatriates on vacation from returning to work.
Mr Phiri further explained that the company had frozen job recruitment until further notice and the available employees on site have been guided on how to maintain high levels of hygiene and sanitation. Employees who are off duty have been encouraged to stay home.
He said the decision has officially been communicated to the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) following a meeting they held on March 23, 2020 regarding the environment and safety of workers in the advent of COVID-19. Grizzly Mining Company also engaged the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW) and the Labour Office.