As RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das shared today, the outlook is now heavily contingent upon the intensity, spread & duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a rising probability that large parts of the world will slip into recession.
Amidst such uncertainty and the current 21-day lockdown, many companies have stepped up and taken the decision to give advance salaries to their employees’, keeping in mind their financial well-being.
For instance, mobile maker Lava has paid 20 per cent advance salary to factory workers to support their expenses during the lockdown period. The company has around 3,500 workers in the factory. The company recently shut down its manufacturing facility in Noida from March 22-25 as per Uttar Pradesh government's directive, which has now been extended till April 14.
As per a report, one of the officials said, "These are tough times for the economy. Our revenue collections have stopped since March 22. However, we need to support many staff so that they can meet their daily needs.”
In other news, nearly seven lakh employees, both direct and contract, will get their full pay for the current lockdown period, as shared by Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS).
EMS has staff across factories in India, with high concentration in Noida and Sriperumbudur near Chennai. Given the current COVID-19 crisis and the need to practice social distancing, the industry body has decided to shut down all manufacturing activities as it did not want its workforce battle a pandemic, besides moving people and materials to the factory gates would be tough considering the complete shut down of public transport.
“We have decided to follow the collective wisdom of the prime minister and all the units have decided to shut down operation for the 21 day lockdown,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, founder and national president of Indian Cellular Association, the apex body of mobile handset industry in India. “Noida (NCR) is the biggest cluster followed by Sriperumbudur with nearly 25% to 35% of the all workforce.”
Chinese handset makers Oppo and Vivo said that they will ensure timely salaries to their employees working in Greater Noida factories, which suspended production due to the state and national-level lockdown to contain the outbreak of coronavirus.
Some companies are supporting their employees in other ways as well, like, Lodha Group has taken up this responsibility to ensure that sufficient food supply arrangements are in place for tens of thousands of workers who are currently staying at their sites. The group is also ensuring medical welfare while the nation battles with the pandemic.
Companies in other countries have also taken similar steps. For example, Nestle’s staff is to get full salary for three months while COVID-19 halts work. Unilever also shared it would pay part-time workers for up to three months and accelerate payments for small and mid-sized suppliers to provide relief during the outbreak. US banks are paying special compensation to front-line workers. Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Bank of America among others are extending special compensation to their front-line workers amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. In fact, Indonesian ride-hailing and delivery firm Gojek is setting up a fund to support drivers, and donating a large portion of senior management pay as demand for its drivers’ services plunge.