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COVID-19 took many jobs, asking staff to quit job is easy than accommodating them

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An unemployed youth seeking jobs online | Image: Afternoon Voice

From LinkedIn to other social media platforms, many jobless people are asking for help. Some are so helpless that they ask for grocery and two-time meal support for a few days. The inbox is full of requests; somehow most of them are genuinely lost jobs and finding no career options. One placement and millions of applicants. Well educated people apply for office clerk jobs, and many graduates don’t mint to do peon’s job.

When people are going through difficult times and it is their life at stake, they rarely listen to any advice, whether sane or not. Thus, it is very difficult to say anything to them at this time that will make much sense. However, some help for someone out there is needed at this moment. Just like all others in this country, even my own life has been affected to a great extent.

I have no clients in one business and my newspaper is struggling to survive, being self-funded organization paying office rent to make salaries is a big challenge. Asking staff to quit their job is easy but again who will take responsibility for their living after this sudden market crash? My work has been dependent mostly on traveling outside and attending seminars, getting clientele, has literally come down to zero. It means, I do not know what is going to come next my way and how am I going to take care of my future.

But I have worked on calming myself down and looking at the current situation without becoming very emotional. Because becoming emotional will create fear for me and I will hardly be able to find solutions. Instead of crying out loud and complaining again and again, I am focusing on finding new ways to survive in my present and thrive in my future. I am working continuously up-skilling myself and trying to find ways to stabilize myself. I am contacting my friends, existing clients and asking them if I can be of any help to them.

However, I would certainly like to advise the employers who are trying to get rid of employees that — this is the real time for you to show your humanity and stand by the needy. This is not the time for you to get rid of them. If you, as an employer, are facing financial issues, work it out with your employees. Ask them to accept a lower salary for the next few months until the market stabilizes again. If you do this, your employees will begin to trust you even more and will actually be willing to give their life for you in the future.

The biggest loss of employment in 2020-21 was suffered by the salaried employees as against the popular belief that they were safest in terms of employment and source of earning during the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent restrictions. The situation is most likely to deteriorate in absence of any comprehensive job retention programme as is evident from the data since the beginning of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic since February this year.

The latest CMIE report reveals that the salaried jobs registered a sharp decline during 2020-21 to the tune of 9.8 million. The total salaried jobs in 2019-20 were 85.9 million which by the end of March 2021 reduced to 76.2 million. It clearly indicates that all the initiatives of the Modi government for retention of jobs failed. It may be due to the ad hoc nature of the initiatives, and therefore the government clearly needs to learn from its failure to make some better strategy now.

The protection of the existing jobs is of paramount importance in the present surge of COVID-19 which may continue to make us suffer for some months from now. We may be enforced to impose stricter restrictions on movements of the people than that has already been imposed impacting around 57 per cent of India.

The national unemployment rate touched 7.97 per cent as per the centre’s proprietary data, with urban areas witnessing higher stress at 9.78 per cent and rural joblessness at 7.13 per cent. The national unemployment rate had stood at 6.50 per cent in March, and the number on both rural and urban front was lower. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a slew of pockets going under lockdown-like situation with only essential activities being allowed, which result in a chill in a bulk of economic activities and a resultant impact on jobs.

The country is reporting around 4 lakh new infections a day and over 3,000 deaths. In an address to the nation last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had advised states to look at lockdowns as a last resort, because of its impact on economic activity.

Let’s see how much PM Modi or his ministers take him seriously and improvise economic conditions in India, at least they should render support to small businesses and unemployed youth.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for past 16 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs. Besides journalism, she is also an Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author.
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