Opera News Sends Old Staff on Unpaid Leave Exceeding 2 Months in Shocking Move

Opera News, a news aggregating company operating under Oplay Kenya, has sent its old staff on unpaid leave, with some getting sidelined for two months.

The shocking move came after a meeting for all the staff held in Nairobi on Monday, 18th May.

During the meeting that lasted only 10 minutes, the employees were told that the company will be laying off some of them due to the tough times caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Vincent Li, the Opera News Kenya team lead, who chaired the meeting, the company would terminate some of the contracts, and pay the affected employees their dividends, including an extra month’s salary plus severance packages for the long-serving ones.

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However, the affected employees later got a rude shock after receiving emails from a hiring agency, Career Options Africa, which has been working with the company since April 1, 2020, after taking over from Flexi Personnel, saying that they had been fired.

The emails stated that the affected employees had been sent on unpaid leave with effect from 19th May until July 26, with some being sent home until August.

The 21 leave days that an employee is entitled to were not factored in, as the staff were given nine to 13 days.

Contents of the letters send to Opera News’ old staff.

The company, however, clarified that the affected staff could be reconsidered later, when the Covid-19 pandemic ends. But is the situation getting better any soon with the number of Covid-19 infections growing daily?

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Well, most of those affected are staff, who have been with the company since 2018, when it began operations in Kenya.

Some of them who spoke to LitKenya.com on condition of anonymity, said they had not been given ample notice, as the meeting was convened at 11am on Monday, only for the emails sending them on leave to arrive in the night.

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M Nyongesa

A Digital Journalist with over 2 years of experience in reporting politics, Business, Entertainment and Human Interest stories