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How SA companies plan to deal with Covid-19 pandemic

DURBAN – The South African business sector has been in pandemonium looking for cost effective measures to come out on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic alive. This comes after a survey done by global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, on how companies in South Africa are planning to deal with the pandemic financially. 

 

When asked about options considered to save money:

  • 48% said that they are looking at an outright hiring freeze
  • 41% said that they would be stopping bonuses
  • 24% said that they would be making selective redundancies.

Out of the 412 organizations in the survey, almost six of every ten (57%) said that they were not going to award any rises in pay because of the virus outbreak. However, the other 43% of them said that they already budgeted for it and will be going ahead but the amounts may be smaller. 

Majority of the companies that were surveyed said that they will keep their normal leave policies in place. 

According to Melanie Trollip, director of talent and reward team at Willis Towers Watson, companies have already experienced job cuts in the first quarter of 2020. While the national unemployment rate is at a dismal 29%, the introduction of Covid-19 could make the job market even more bleak. 

Working from home

The survey also included working from home statistics which showed that even before the lockdown, around 52% of companies said they allow their employees to work from home. The survey showed that the need to work from the office has taken a dip. 

One third of the businesses surveyed (33%) said that more than 75% of their staff were capable of working from home. Companies have also made efforts in covering the cost of working from home, which often includes network charges and equipment. 

 

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