Are Layoffs Always Necessary?

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People are losing jobs around the world because of the pandemic, and employees of Hong Kong have also been on the receiving end of it. Especially in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, aviation, etc. where the financial flow is almost nil, we have seen companies retrenching their workers by a large margin.

Let us be honest- no one is to blame here. It is a pandemic we are talking about; a virus that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals from around the world. So, even when companies, big and small are firing employees one after another, there isn’t a place for a backlash.

Anyway, are there alternatives? Especially for SMEs that don’t have a limited budget but still have the best employees, are there any methods to subdue the ill-effects of the virus?

Pay Cuts

Now, this seems like a simple and effective solution. However, the pay-cut shouldn’t only be for officers, but also the executives. Now is also the time for the company leaders to be an excellent example among their workers by cutting off wages for themselves, showing everyone in the company that they are a team.

Upskilling and Cross Skilling

Doing something simple like teaching employees to work from home can also help keep the money flowing and thus will be useful for the retention. Furthermore, teaching other skills, for example, training a waiter to become a competent delivery person can be helpful.

Remember, even after the Hong Kong Economic Recovery, companies are going to operate differently. There will be less physical commute and more telecommunication- you have to train your employees accordingly.

Hong Kong Companies are Not Alone

The government has already announced a Financial Support for Business Hong Kong. Firms making MPF contributions will get monetary support, with which they will see half the amount of all their employee’s salary being paid for six months. The cap is $9,000, meaning that even if an employee has a salary of more than $18,000, the government will pay them a maximum of $9,000 in a month.


David Cohen

Rachel Cohen: Rachel is a sustainability consultant who blogs about corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices.

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