Britam seeking to lay off more than 100 employees with early retirement offer

In a cost-cutting move, Britam Holdings PLC is looking for more than 100 workers to volunteer for early retirement.

“The Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) is part of our business realignment process…….,” said Dr. Benson Wairegi, Britam Group MD adding that the company “has an obligation to remain agile, relevant and responsive to the changing market conditions as expected of any dynamic business by its shareholders, customers, partners, employees and the general public.”

The company said the move targets all its employees but will not affect its financial advisors.

“While our business remains fundamentally sound with strong growth prospects, the VER program offers all our Kenyan employees a voluntary opportunity for employment separation with an attractive benefits package. The VER program does not impact our financial advisors”, Wairegi said.

The company has not disclosed a specific deadline for eligible workers to accept the offer neither did it reveal how much they expect to save from the retirements. However, it noted that eligible employees will receive an “attractive package” which is well above the industry average.

Earlier this year, Britam issued a profit warning saying earnings for 2017 financial year are expected to be lower by more than 25 percent compared to the earnings reported in the same period in 2016. Britam has blamed a change in the regulatory requirement in accounting for liabilities for weighing down its earnings. The new law now requires insurance companies to change the basis of valuation of their long term liabilities from Net Premium Valuation (NPV) to Gross Premium Valuation (GPV).

Britam becomes the third listed company in the course of the year to announce a lay off exercise after Nation Media Group and National Bank of Kenya.


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