COVID-19 impact on private sector survey out soon: Labour Dept.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020 01:28 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Charumini de Silva

The Department of Labour is to release the final report of the e-survey on the COVID-19 affected private sector this week.

In April, the Department of Labour requested private sector companies to complete an e-survey which was published on its official website, with the objective of collecting data to protect both employees and employers.

With the favourable response received, the Department of Labour also extended the deadline for submission for e-survey from 3 May to 15 May. “We have received a noteworthy response from the private sector companies. We are now finalising the report, which will be out this week,” Labour Commissioner General A. Wimalaweera told the Daily FT.

Previously, he said that if the department received at least over 25,000 responses, an interim report would be submitted to the Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. 

He declined to reveal the number of private companies responded, nature of their business or any other detail related to the e-survey, since the Department of Labour had assured the confidentiality of data provided.

“Information will only be released through the final report next week,” Wimalaweera said.

At present, there are over 86,000 companies employing 2.6 million people registered under the Department of Labour. He said that the data collected through the survey was extremely important to take appropriate decisions in terms of protecting both the business and employment post-COVID-19.

The e-survey has required details ranging from nature of the business; total number of employees employed as at the end of February, if the business is open; the total number of employees working at present, reasons for establishment closing or for partial operation, in the case of the business closing down; if they expect to reopen and reasons for not reopening.

Other queries include whether companies have already terminated their permanent/probationary/contract/part-time/casual employees and how many; if there are any plans to reduce/terminate employees in the future due to the impact of COVID-19 and how many; if steps had been taken to pay employees the April salary even if the business had been closed; and if the business is to remain closed in the upcoming months, how they expect to pay workers who have been made to stay at home.

The Labour Department is also keen to find out the financial losses suffered by companies on account of COVID-19 from January to end March – and the projected financial losses from April to end June; if businesses have obtained/applied for the loan granted by the Government at the 4% interest rate to support working capital, and what they expect from the Government to mitigate the impact on their businesses. Conglomerates and diversified businesses are required to fill in individual forms for each business.