HR News Roundup – April 2020
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HR News Roundup – April 2020

COVID-19 Outbreak Can Cost Millions of Travel and Tourism Jobs: WTTC

COVID-19The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says the global COVID-19 Pandemic can affect up to 50 million jobs in the Travel & Tourism sector. The latest figures from WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, show that the global travel sector could shrink by up to 25 percent in 2020. This is the equivalent to a loss of three months of global travel. This could eventually lead to a 12 to 14 percent loss of positions. As more large-scale events are cancelled and the number of flight cancellations increases, there are fears the industry could take a bigger hit. The tourism industry accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP and jobs.

Labour Ministry Issues Advisory to Not Cut Salaries or Resort to Layoffs of Employees

Labour Ministry AdvisoryIn view of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Labour Ministry has advised all companies — both in the private and public sector — not to cut jobs or salaries, including those of casual workers. If any worker takes leave during this period, he should be deemed to be in duty without any consequential deduction in wages. Further, if a unit is made non-operational due to Covid-19, its employees will be deemed to be on duty. Companies such as Maruti and Hyundai, which have shut down production, employ a large number of casual workers. The termination of an employee or a cut in salary will only further deepen the crisis and will not only weaken their financial condition but also hamper their morale to combat this epidemic, the advisory said.

EPFO Lowers Interest Rate for 2019-2020, a Seven-Year Low

EPFO Lowers Interest RateThe Board of Trustees of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently fixed the interest rate on PF deposits for 2019-20 at 8.5%, a seven-year low. Due to this, millions of salaried employees will earn less on their statutory monthly provident fund deductions in 2019-20. Over six crore subscribers will be impacted by the move, which would enable the retirement fund body to have a surplus of over Rs 700 crore. Employee representatives criticised the move, demanding a rate of at least 8.65%. The EPFO had provided 8.65 percent rate of interest to its subscribers for 2016-17 and 8.55 percent in 2017-18.

Unilever Introduces Employee Protection Plan Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Unilever NewsUnilever announced on March 24 that it would protect its workforce from the financial impact of the coronavirus by continuing to pay contractors and other part-time staff for up to three months. Unilever said its pay protection plan would be applicable for employees, contractors and others who are managed by the company or who work on its sites on a full or part-time basis. The maker of Dove soaps and Knorr soup also unveiled a 500 million euro ($543.25 million) relief program to help its “most vulnerable” small- and medium-sized suppliers as well as provide credit to select small-scale retailers. Unilever is also donating soap, sanitizer, bleach and food worth 100 million euros to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

Age-Based Bias Becoming More Prominent at Workplaces: Survey

Age-Based BiasAccording to a survey, bias against employees on the basis of age or ageism has become quite rampant in Indian workplaces. About 33% of Indian employees have faced age-based bias in the workplace. 17% said they faced bias because of their physical appearance, 15% said they faced culture/religion-based bias, followed by 14% who said they faced gender bias. Only 24% of employees stated that their organisation has LGBTQ or specially-abled leaders at the C-suite level. The survey was carried out on 1,942 employees working in different sectors by JobBuzz, an employer rating and review platform by TimesJobs. Interestingly, a majority of the respondents fell into the 25 to 34 age category, whereas the present multigenerational workforce comprises a mix of Baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y or Millennials.

Amid COVID-19 Crisis Recruitment Strategy Shift to Virtual Platforms

Recruitment Strategy ShiftAs more and more employees start working remotely following the unforeseen disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, companies are now resorting to intelligent automated systems that offer virtual screening environment and interviewing experience, instead of conducting in-person interviews. There has also been a rise in the demand of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack which is not surprising as many companies across the world have asked employees to work from home given the risks of travelling to office amid the coronavirus pandemic. To ensure business continuity during this crisis, most companies have realized the need to have robust, easy-to-use virtual platforms that enable remote work and learning, connect on a real-time basis with the employees and help the talent acquisition team to stay connected with the candidates by video calls.


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