Fourth of workers dealing with pay cuts of more than 30pc

Top News | Eurus Yiu 16 Jul 2020

More than a quarter of employees have had a pay cut of over 30 percent due to the pandemic, a JobsDB survey finds, while 18 percent are facing job cuts and underemployment problems.

The job portal surveyed 3,100 workers and more than 800 companies in May and found that 43 percent have switched to work from home and 41 percent hope they can continue to work from home in the future.

The platform said 43 percent have experienced working from home since many firms have transitioned to remote-operation models to meet social distancing guidelines, while 41 percent are open to more opportunities for remote working.

Almost half of employees required to work from home changed the hours they are working - for example, in the evenings and at weekends - and 43 percent are working long hours.

JobsDB said many enterprises have been forced to reduce wage expenses to maintain their financial health, especially employees in the food and beverage, tourism, advertising and marketing sectors.

More than one in four workers have faced salary reductions of over 30 percent, and another 46 percent have been negatively impacted in terms of remuneration, including reduced or suspended bonuses, suspension of salary increases and salary freezes.

Eighteen percent face temporary or permanent retrenchment. But only 27 percent of enterprises are planning to recruit in the next six to 12 months, with 64 percent of vacancies being junior-level positions for fresh graduates and other career starters.

The research data show that the job happiness index averages 4.8 out of 10 - a significant drop from the pre-pandemic average of 6.1. Low-wage workers who earn a monthly salary of less than HK$11,000 have reportedly been impacted the most.

The most common concern among employees is job security, followed closely by apprehensions over personal and family finances.

Isaac Shao Kwan-shek, chief executive of JobsDB Hong Kong, suggested companies strengthen communications and provide emotional support for employees.

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