Giving Circle works in the larger ecosystem of the social services sector, the government as well as ordinary citizens. Our blog highlights our thoughts and ideas about our larger vision on how community services can be scaled up in India and celebrates individuals and projects around the country who are shining examples of the Giving Circle methodology.

Saturday, 11 Apr 2020

People are willingly taking a salary cut to support Covid-19 national funds in India

At the helm of the darkest hour experienced across the globe - a pandemic that was never planned is thrust upon us for months.

At the helm of the darkest hour experienced across the globe - a pandemic that was never planned is thrust upon us for months. True, we do not know when this ends, but we are sure it does have an end. In a national crisis where people, health institutions, businesses, and the government have been involved in the fight against COVID-19, what's more, to ask than a complete lockdown for the citizens to stay safe? Plans to combat the outbreak yet continue while India brainstorms ideas to have a dedicated national fund. The primary objective of dealing with any act of distress during this situation is to provide support and relief to the affected.

In emergency situations and needs, public charitable trusts have been set up across India to help people contribute with the smallest deeds of denominations. The national funds have enabled a large number of people to donate, which is the most effective way to mitigate the issue. In the wake of this emergency, many requests for making generous donations to the government have been received. Leading by example, many people are willing to take a salary cut to support COVID-19 and have united to help citizens, and the government fight it. Whether natural or otherwise, here's what companies in India are doing to take collective action for the suffering of those affected.

How Companies Are Joining Hands To Fight COVID-19

India's top-notch food delivery app, Zomato has shut operations entirely and has made a relief plan to help its users, partners and delivery executives across cities they operate in. Due to the national-lockdown, over 100 employees of the company have voluntarily opted for salary cuts to help conserve the company's cash flow. Not just this, the cash will be donated for the company's delivery partner fund as well as the 'Feed the Daily Wager' campaign.

To further help fight the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) has voluntarily decided to contribute one day's salary of all regular teaching and non-teaching employees to Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for April. This initiative has been encouraged for all to be part of the nationwide effort to fight against COVID-19.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation, some companies have decided to take proactive measures to keep employees safe. The chairman of PwC announced that firm partners and executive directors would voluntarily opt for a 25% pay cut that will navigate the uncertainties of the business and also keep employees safe.

While this pandemic has caused employers to rethink the hiring and salary structure, we are well aware the tourism sector is the worst affected by this epidemic. There are hundreds of hospitality, travel companies feeling the brunt. To curb this scenario and support the affected, companies such as MakeMyTrip have also announced pay cuts only at a senior level. The leadership team will take a 50% pay cut and co-founders Deep Kalra, and Rajesh Magow will take zero salaries from April. The promoter of Apollo Tyres has announced a 25% cut in their pay while the top management executives will take 15 - 25 % cut.

Budget carriers such as IndiGo have also instituted a salary cut for their senior employees along with the CEO himself taking a 25% pay cut. Meanwhile, GoAir and Shuttl, the app-based bus aggregator have also said that the top management pay will be reduced by 50% during the coronavirus crisis to survive longer in the start-up ecosystem.

A Symbolic Gesture

This nationwide lockdown has been hard, imposing a significant shift in the workplace. Many employers in most industries have carefully considered their options to the national state of emergency and implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. While a few companies can continue working remotely, the others have voluntarily accepted a pay cut to sustain their businesses depending on the short-term and long-term scenarios. This symbolic contribution on the part of individual members and organizations part of India's massive workforce and industry is indeed a laudable and generous effort we can all learn from. It is in hours of crisis like the one being faced by the country and the world in the COVID-19 pandemic that we need more such efforts and actively contribute towards helping our country successfully combat and win this fight.


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