The COVID-19 outbreak has not only managed to invade our lives with lexicons such as ‘social distancing’, ‘quarantine’, ‘PPE’, ‘comorbidity’, but also catapulted HR terms – ‘furlough’, ‘salary/pay cut’, ‘retrenchment’, ‘layoff’ – into becoming the new normal. This, despite the central and state governments’ advisory that public and private enterprises should not ax staff or cut salaries.
All industries are suffering in the current pandemic situation and the pain is now translating into layoffs in every industry at every level. Companies are even cutting the salaries of those employees whom they are planning to retain. Due to Covid19, many industries got more infected and the survey noted that the percentage of layoff is highest in Retail & FMCG sector at 49%, followed by Hospitality / Aviation / Travel (48%), Automobile / Manufacturing & Engineering (41%), Real Estate (39%), Power Sector (38%).
India is going to face its worst recession to date. On Tuesday, US-based cab-aggregator Uber announced it will lay off around 600 full-time employees in the India-South Asia region, a majority of which are located in India, because of the “impact of Covid-19 and therefore the unpredictable nature of the recovery. In total, five companies — Uber India and South Asia, Ola, Zomato, Swiggy and Cure.fit — have together announced the reduction of around 4,441 jobs within the last one month. “68 percent of the employers surveyed have either started the layoff process or are aiming to” according to the current results of MyHiringClub.com and Sarkari-Naukri.info Layoff Survey 2020
Such practices bring your company a bad reputation, employee morale is destroyed, future candidates/investors may rethink their choice, and so on.
Worth mentioning here is the other side of the story that amid the coronavirus-induced uncertainties across the industry, several companies including Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), Asian Paints, HCL Technologies, Walmart-owned Flipkart, Myntra, Johnson & Johnson, CSS Corp, Capgemini India, BSH Home Appliances, HCCB, BharatPe among others chose to increase salaries, honored variable payouts and promoted employees even in these hard times.
“It’s our job to maintain the morale of employees in these uncertain times and provide them a way of security,” Neeraj Bahl, MD, and CEO, BSH Home Appliances, told the financial daily. The company, however, slashed marketing and travel costs and ordered a freeze on fresh hiring. It went ahead with promotions and paid out increments to employees.
“HUL follows an April-March cycle. Variable pay for the previous year and increments for the present year have already been paid out,” an HUL spokesperson told the business daily.
Earlier, Asian Paints had said it would provide pay hikes to staff despite the Covid-19 pandemic impacting business.