Question 1: What is the Ethiopia Job Retention program?

Context and main features of the job retention program

The MoLSA-ILO-BMZ job retention programme is part of an emergency assistance programme to the textile & garment sector in Ethiopia during the COVID-19 crisis with financial support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) of the Federal Republic of Germany. It aims at encouraging employers, who are registered with POESSA, to maintain employment by subsidising part of the wages factories pay their workers while retaining them on the job.

The program is aligned with the principles enshrined in International Social Security Standards and follows principles based on a rights-based approach towards social protection, social dialogue, solidarity in financing, sustainability and coherence with social, economic and employment policies

The program aims at reducing the vulnerability of textile & garment workers to the direct and indirect socio-economic impacts of COVID 19, at factories to continue to operate retaining their workforce and ultimately at building a more sustainable and resilient social protection system.

This program has been developed by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) to support constituents in the textile & garment supply chain in selected countries including Ethiopia through public and private sector collaboration, in order to:

(i) Strengthen occupational safety and health (OSH) protection measures to ensure that employers, workers and their families are protected from the direct and indirect health risks of COVID-19 and that workplaces are not negatively impacted by further outbreaks due a poor management of OSH hazards; and

(ii) To cushion enterprises against immediate employment and income losses and compensate workers for the loss of income due to COVID 19 by providing wage subsidies and other cash transfers; and to facilitate “back to normality” by maintaining an employment relationship.

The Council of Ministers designated the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA) as the implementing agency for the cash transfer component. MoLSA will be supported by the Ethiopia Private Organization Employees’ and Social Security Agency (POESSA).

The program draws on the initiative of the German Government (represented by the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) during the Vision Zero Fund Steering Committee held on 27 March 2020 and is funded in its first phase by BMZ. It is set up as a multi-donor Programme, opening up to other partners to join and scale up the activities.

The program also supports the practical implementation of the COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry, which encourages organizations endorsing the Action to protect garment workers’ income, health and employment and support employers to survive during the COVID-19 crisis, and to work together to establish sustainable systems of social protection for a more just and resilient textile & garment industry.

Question 2: Who can apply?

Find out if you are eligible to apply for the subsidy

All domestic textile & garment exporting factories that are currently in operation and that fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • Factories that have not benefited from any other wage subsidy program from other development partners, government or private sector actors;
  • Factories contributing to social security.
  • Factories that can provide documentation (documentation required is described in Question 4: How to Apply) to prove financial difficulties to pay workers’ salaries;
  • Factories that retain their workers with full payment of their wages for the duration of the subsidy program.
  • Factories that are willing to adhere to the terms and conditions of the job retention program support.
  • Factories that commit to actively engage in the discussions around/ support the development of a national unemployment insurance
  • Factories will have an added advantage if:
    • Factories strictly apply the core conventions ratified by Ethiopia
    • Factories that have higher number of vulnerable workers.
    • Factories are registered to the ILO/Better Work Programme.
    • Factories that have established a workplace safety committee.
    • Factories implementing a bipartite social dialogue.
    • Factories practicing relevant information exchange with workers to ensure harmonious Industrial relations.
Question 3: When should you apply?

Application deadline(s)

Factories that fulfil the above criteria need to apply by the stated deadline in the announcement by MoLSA. Only complete applications submitted online within the deadline will be considered.

For general enquiries about the submission process, please refer to Question 5: How to apply or contact contact@saving-jobs-org 

Question 4: Which of your employees qualify?

Which employees you can include in your claim ?

If your factory has been shortlisted by tri-partite technical committee and endorsed by the steering committee (please refer to Question 5: How to Apply for further details), all employees except for management and admin staff on the payroll at the time of the implementation of the job retention program and that are stated in your application can be included in your claim.

Question 5: How to apply?

How to submit an application for the Job Retention Programme

  • MoLSA will be publicly announcing the launch of the program through media, social media as well as on the current website;
  • Fill in the registration form in order to receive the link and credentials to the edibility questionnaire login page
  • Fill in the eligibility questionnaire (template link) and submit accompanying required documentation. Only complete applications will be considered. 
Question 6: After you apply

Once the set deadline has passed, MoLSA will:

  • Screen applications from factories;
    • Review documents submitted by applicants and inquire for more information if necessary;
    • Verify that factories applying are not benefiting from other wage subsidy programs;
    • An independent technical committee (chaired by MoLSA with members from Ministry, representatives of both employers and workers organizations and ILO) will perform further verification of financial documents submitted by factories ;
    • MoLSA analyses applications and select eligible firms based on set eligibility criteria and submits recommended list to the Steering Committee;

A tri-partite steering committee will:

  • Review list of recommended firms with accompanying documents and endorses final list of beneficiary firms.
  • In case your application is rejected, you will be informed by mail by MoLSA including the reasons for rejection. If you wish to appeal this decision, you may do so within 2 weeks maximum of being informed.
  • Rejected factories may appeal the decision within 4 weeks of being informed.
  • The appeal process is as follows:
    • Factories fill up an appeal claim on this website at this link (URL)
    • Claims will be received and reviewed by the technical committee on a bi-weekly basis
    • The technical committee submits claims and resolutions to the Steering Committee who endorses the resolutions and/or review and address claims that have not been resolved by the technical committee
    • Factories will be informed within a month of the resolution (via email)
    • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Beneficiary workers: Will receive their full payment through bank transfer. Bank transfer fees will be fully covered by the program
  • Beneficiary factories: Should inform their workers’ association, union or workers directly that I have been selected by the program. 
  • The program reserves the right to perform independent audits of beneficiary factories as necessary. 
Question 7: How to contact us about the program

For general enquiries about the program, please contact us
To appeal a decision on eligibility or submit a complaint, please submit a claim through the following link that will be available when the decision has been communicated to the factories.