As a result of the retrenchments coming at the back- drop of global recession, a Botswana citizen has been inspired to establish his own unemployment insurance company, having been inspired by the sight of workers who were retrenched from their jobs due to the collapse of the economy.
The Managing Director and founder of the unemployment insurance company, Tefo Mosimaneotsile, revealed that the way the policy works is such that when an employee is retrenched, his company will pay the policy holder their usual salary for a period of 4 months from the date of lodging the claim.
He said he has engaged a number of unions since 2006 to measure if his idea was viable and if it could be welcome by the working public.
Mosimaneotsile said that his product, called Insure ÔÇôA ÔÇôSalary, is long overdue for local employees, since nobody knows what might happen to their jobs in the future.
The company’s main objective, he said, is to ensure that retrenched clients are able to use their normal salaries to pay basic amenities such as rent, food, water, electricity bills, transport and healthcare bills while they are looking for employment.
Mosimaneotsile said that his company, Mercury Unemployment Insurance (MUI) is a 100 percent subsidiary of Yeoville Holdings (Proprietary) Limited, which he owns.
He left his job in the corporate sector in 2006 to focus on the company. Mosimaneotsile said that he was not afraid of entering the risky business that is an unemployment insurance company, which many companies have tried to avoid.
His company will be the first of its kind in our markets, he said. He is known for having made his mark in the local oil industry.
A former employee of Total Botswana, where he was head-hunted to serve as Managing Director from 2005-2006 and, Deputy MD from 2004-2005.
He also worked at BP as a sales manager in 2003 and as a Business Manager Commercial from 2001-2003.
He had a brief stint at Standard Chartered from 2001-2003 where he was a direct sales executive. From 1997 until 2000 he served in the sales department for Kgalagadi Breweries Limited.
“I have seen instances where people fell sick, got injured, and were forced out of their jobs prematurely but their employers. I have also seen how some of these people struggle to make ends meet after that,” said Mosimaneotsile.
Although the idea sounds good on paper, one would be skeptical as to how the policy actually works because people are usually laid off work for various reasons.
He said that his company is not trying to encourage unlawful acts where people are not serious about their jobs because they know they have unemployment insurance. He stresses that his company wants to insure genuine cases of retrenchments, adding that by genuine he means “jobs lost on medical grounds, people who were forced to retire early, or people who were laid off because of economic reasons”.
Like other insurance companies, however, his company will need to verify reasons as to why their client was retrenched before they can decide to hand out the funds.
What sets his company apart from other insurance companies is that one is able to pay their premiums even after losing employment. They cover car insurance, life insurance, household insurance, and medical insurance and even have a funeral policy.
The company, which he funded personally, currently has four citizen employees. He said that he is in the process of acquiring funding to expand from companies in the private sector.