A+| A| A-

Saving Jobs and Averting Lay-offs amidst COVID-19 Lockdown

Despite unleashing a slew of relief measures, the state is grappling to ensure that employers abstain from imposing lay-offs, pay cuts or unpaid leave during the lockdown. Even if the state mandates employers to pay wages without any lay-offs, then, in this context, there is a need to advocate for wider coverage of labour legislation in India. In the short run, fixing accountability on employers for wages and jobs will provide an interim relief, but, in the long run, we need to take financial viability into consideration and provide stimulus wage subsidy.

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a full-blown health emergency leading to rising death tolls, and disrupted trade, mobility, and livelihood of millions of workers around the world. The looming pandemic threatens to disproportionately hit not only the health security in the short term, but also cause a devastating social and economic crisis over the months and years to come in developing countries. The magnitude of its impact shows multiplier effects when it is accompanied by a complete social and economic shutdown through several channels such as weakening of domestic demand, disruption in supply chain, decline in production, and job losses.

As the fifth largest economy, India’s nationwide lockdown, the biggest in the world, will be lifted sooner or later. However, the uncertainly of livelihood, wage loss and lay-offs is likely to linger much longer. The lockdown has not only inflicted incorrigible damages on the working lives of migrant, informal and precarious workers, but has induced a slump in activities of all sectors, from production to distribution to consumption. In order to subside its impact on labour markets, a soft law approach has been executed through an advisory from Ministry of Labour and Employment on 20 March 2020 requiring all employers/establishments not to terminate employees and not to cut wages of the workers, including contract and temporary workers (MOLE 2020).

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 11th May, 2020

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Analysis of the current and emergent correlation of forces between US–China–Russia points towards a new era of one super-imperialist power...

With the effects of the pandemic becoming increasingly severe by the day, there has been an almost total shift to online modes of operation....

An in-depth accounting of toilet coverage is more vital than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic makes its way through India. While independent research...

The genesis and evolution of the COVID-19-led migrant crisis in India, along with the institutional responses, is discussed. The focus is on the...

C P Bhambri believed that the task of social science, like all other sciences, was to arrive at the truth on the basis of well-established facts....

The COVID-19 pandemic may affect the financing opportunities for innovation. The revenue loss induced by the pandemic is likely to divert the...

When the goods and services tax was introduced in July 2017, states were given a revenue guarantee of 14% per annum on their GST revenue over the...

India’s public health system has struggled to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the pandemic, India’s public health infrastructure was...

The National Education Policy, 2020 unveiled finally seeks to usher in major structural reforms in higher education. Among many measures,...

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdown led to the closure of all markets in Manipur, including the Tribal Market Complex in Imphal East...

Back to Top