PH firms see COVID-19 effects lingering until 2021 | Inquirer Business
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PH firms see COVID-19 effects lingering until 2021

/ 04:03 AM July 28, 2020

A regional survey said many companies in the Philippines strive to make safety and mental health their top priority, although they are also planning to cut losses, which, ironically, could further stress affected employees.

Advisory firm Willis Towers Watson conducted a survey on 746 employers in 15 markets in the Asia Pacific. It released details on the Philippine market in a statement on Monday.

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The report, called 2020 Restoring Stability survey, covered 100 employers in the Philippines who represented companies that employ a combined total of 300,000 workers.

More than 60 percent of Philippine survey respondents expected the pandemic to negatively impact their business next year either in a moderate or large extent, the company said, without expounding on the impact.

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To cope, half said they were already on a hiring freeze, while others were considering more drastic cost-cutting measures.

Twenty percent of them said they were planning to have furloughs or forced leaves, layoffs, salary freeze, reducing or delaying merit increases and reducing bonus accruals for the rest of the year. Twelve percent said they were considering salary reduction.

On the other hand, three out of five employers said the virus would have either a moderate or a large negative impact on the wellbeing of their employees. In response, 78 percent said they were looking at enhancing well-being programs while 37 percent said they were considering to improve health care benefits.

More than 60 percent of organizations have promoted telemedicine availability and online mental health services for their employees during the pandemic.

Almost half have also prioritized paid and unpaid leave policies as well as communicating about well-being apps to support their workforce in maintaining their physical and emotional wellbeing especially when they work from home, said Willis Towers Watson.

“We find it heartening that employers are actively looking at ways and doing what they can to support their workers,” said Susan la Chica, head of health and benefits-Philippines at Willis Towers Watson. INQ

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