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O&L Leisure implements temporary closures, reduced hours & salary cuts at various properties

O&L Leisure implements temporary closures, reduced hours & salary cuts at various properties

O&L Leisure has effected temporary measures including closures, reduced hours and salary cuts at its various properties/sites in a move to ensure business continuity.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, 21 July O&L Leisure’s Managing Director, Norbert Wurm, said the decision to introduce urgent rescue measures was safeguard the future sustainability of its business and mitigate the risk of the impact on an already crippled tourism sector.

The company will implement basic salary reductions of between 25-50% (depending on level of activity) (not total Cost to Company/CTC incl. allowances and benefits, etc.). Chobe Water Villas and Mokuti Etosha Lodge will be closed temporarily until 1 October.

Strand Hotel Swakopmund will remain open for business with reduced operations and its Farmhouse Deli remaining in operation for in-house guests and take-away, while Midgard Country Estate will remain open for business and at full operation with ongoing training and construction for official opening towards the end of September.

The O&L Leisure Central Office will also reduce working hours between 25% and 50%, depending on work requirements, and remuneration adjusted accordingly.

All these measures take effect on 1 August 2021 to 30 October 2021.

“With the pandemic continuing to impact us negatively and the current government regulations and health measures including restrictions on trading in our restaurants and international travel regulations linked to infection levels, we are further hampered in our ability to operate our business resulting in this situation becoming unsustainable. Our focus during and throughout this crisis has always been to trade our way out of this difficult situation, with emphasis on revenue generation, while reducing costs without reducing standards and simultaneously protecting livelihoods. Unfortunately, the 3rd wave of the pandemic has hit the region and our business, like many others, hard especially during the second quarter of the year,” Wurm said.

Wurm said during the entirety of the crisis until recently, O&L Leisure has reduced overtime costs and adjusted work schedules, amongst others, while choosing not to resort to restructuring, retrenchments, or mandatory salary reductions.

“In an effort to alleviate the pressure and safeguard the wellbeing of our employees and sustain our business, we unfortunately have no other choice but to take necessary measures to ensure we overcome the short-term challenges facing us. Having exhausted all other alternatives, our focus remains on securing jobs and livelihoods in a sustainable manner while requiring a collective sacrifice by all, whereby we urgently need to reduce our operating requirements in line with forecasted activity and in terms of section 12 of the Labour Act”, Wurm said.

O&L Leisure is a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver &List (O&L) Group.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

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