It’s the worst time to be a contract worker, freelancer or a gig economy worker

  • According to a survey by job search platform Indeed, half of the Indian businesses have already trimmed contractual workforce and freelancers.
  • Two in five SMBs are expected to go with remote hiring.
  • While a third of them said that they will temporarily halt hiring activity — and are only focussing on critical hiring.
  • Several other conglomerates said that they will not cut salaries of the staff in the wake of Coronavirus.
As India locks down, its economy has come to a grinding halt. That has affected the gig economy the worst.

According to a survey by job search platform Indeed, half of the Indian businesses already trimmed the contractual workforce and freelancers to cut operational costs. Employment and employer services have changed ever since the crisis took over.

In addition, a third of companies surveyed said that they will temporarily halt hiring activities — and only focus on critical hiring. While it is in the throes of trouble, the gig economy is also well prepared to ride the troubled time.

As many as 83% of businesses are working on contingency plans. “It includes frequent communication protocols and technological infrastructure to ensure seamless remote working,” the survey said.

And, two in five small and medium businesses are expected to go for remote hiring.

“Resilience is being displayed by many employers who are exploring new ways to ensure their workforce is able to function seamlessly. Our data shows that remote working and work from home searches have been steadily increasing also, indicating jobseeker expectation mirrors these measures,” said Sashi Kumar, MD at Indeed India.

Tatas, Bajaj and Flipkart assure salaries

On the other hand, a few large corporates are protecting employees with its ‘special leave’ policy to ensure that they are paid during quarantine. Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran also assured that the company will give away full payments to the daily wage workers for the two months — March and April. Flipkart too said that the isolation period will not impact their salaries.

“I will cut my salary to zero before a single employee is laid off,” Rajiv Bajaj, managing director and chief executive officer of Bajaj Auto, said.

Airlines however which are the worst hit sectors have already said that it will cut salaries of its employees. The cash-strapped national carrier Air India announced cost-cutting measures which included reducing certain allowances or suspending certain services that it pays to its executive pilots, cabin crew and ground staff.

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