On the 21st March 2020, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India declared a complete lockdown for a period of 21 days, while explaining it to be the only way to break the chain of spread of the deadly COVID-19. The already in news COVID-19, a declared pandemic has resulted in approximately 32,000 deaths and the number is likely to increase in the coming days. Countries with the best in class healthcare have failed to fully control the situation and have started to lose hope while being in a global quest for knowledge to effectively fight it. Millions are being spent in increasing the healthcare budgets worldwide. Test kits and protective gears are being bought. Countries like Italy and China have set examples for people world wide to strictly adhere to the lockdown.
India declared a complete lockdown. All businesses have come to a standstill. It is foreseen that the world will witness a worse than 2009 recession in the coming time. Nearly 90% of the country’s workforce is in the informal sector with no minimum wages or any kind of social security.
Although the world has faced pandemics before, is still never fully prepared to fight it due to its frequency. The present pandemic i.e. COVID-19 has expanded to parts of the world and has currently affected 203 countries around the world. Businesses are suffering with restriction in movement, start-ups may be vulnerable to reasonable threats.
FROM THE EMPLOYERS P.O.V: Employers have suffered huge losses due to decreased orders, deliveries, payments, none of which could be foreseen by any business.
FROM THE EMPLOYEES P.O.V: Employees are aware that it becomes difficult in the unorganized sector for the employers to pay salaries in such times. The GOI has asked all companies to ensure that workers, especially contract labour, who take leave as a precaution towards the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) should be treated to be ‘on duty’ and their salaries should not be deducted. The GOI further asked businesses to not terminate employees in the current situation as the same is likely to discourage the workers in fighting this pandemic. However, in India, around 90 per cent of the workers being in the unorganised sector and do not come under the purview of the labour laws related to social security.
It must be remembered that when a company does better than its goals, no employee gets any extra salary, thus similarly in times of crisis, why should the employees be expected to be paid less. The employees are very well within their rights to expect their employers to pay their salaries in full amount.
Zomato employees have voluntarily taken salary cuts in times of crisis, whereas cognizant has increased salaries by upto 25% to better fight the pandemic. It all basically depends on the capacity of the company. But what about the unorganized sector, where most of the persons in our country are employed? Do they have any security?