The company won’t lay off another nine employees 

The labour ministry confirmed that Scan Café has relieved its 67 employees as per the Labour and Employment Act 2007.

The ministry had earlier sought clarification from the company for relieving the employees after they submitted a petition to the ministry.

Labour officer, Ngawang Norbu, said that there was no way the company could take back the relieved employees because the company had lost the European Union (EU) clients that these 67 employees dealt indirectly or directly with.

“We can’t ask the company to keep the employees but we only make sure that they receive all the benefits and compensation as per law,” Ngawang Norbu said. “The company has retrenched the employees as per the law and had not violated any provisions of the Act.”

Scan Café paid the relieved employees two months gross salary (including 100 percent performance incentives) in lieu of notice period plus all other separation benefits as per the company service rules last week.

The company’s director-operations, Ramendara Narayan in an earlier interview with Kuensel had said that the company had to take the decision because of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect from May 25.

“GDPR is a new law passed in January this year in EU and this has made the company lose the European clients,” Ramendara Narayan said. “Whichever company is dealing with export of private data of EU citizens out of the country will have to comply with the GDPR by May 25.”

He said that Scan Café also has clients in Europe that help export data to Scan Café in Bhutan. But now that they have to comply with GDPR, the company decided to retrench the employees as it has lost the EU clients.

However, the company has assured that preference would be given to these employees if any job opportunities arise in the company in future.

Meanwhile, Scan Cafe had retained nine employees to complete the remaining works in the department. These nine employees also dealt with the EU clients.

Company’s deputy manager – operations, Jagat Adhikari, said that the retention was done based on the performance of the employees.

“It is a misconception that the company would be also be retrenching these nine employees after May 25,” he said. “The company would try and retain them and give them whatever other work is available within the company.”

A US-based company, Scan Café that digitalises, edits, and organises photos and videos employs the highest number of Bhutanese employees. The company today has about 400 Bhutanese.

Yangchen C Rinzin