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Almost two thirds of Romania's companies didn't cut employees costs during emergency state (survey)

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Almost two thirds (65 percent) of Romania's companies didn't implement measures to cut back costs with employees during the two months of the state of emergency, the data included in the PwC Romania HR Barometer and published on Wednesday informs.

According to the survey, the companies which decided to cut back costs have adopted a mix of measures which they implemented differently to employees depending on their positions, generally being targeted the operational personnel of the structures whose activity has been affected by the state of emergency.

Thus, 11 percent implemented furlough with the aid from the state budget, but without compensating the difference, whereas 15 percent used furlough with covering the pay gap. At the same time, 17 percent of those surveyed reduced working time with the agreement of parties or granted unpaid leave, and 4 percent fired people.

In respect to wages, the PwC survey shows that half of the respondents implemented salary growths for this year prior to the state of emergency, and the increase was of 5.77 percent overall.

On the other hand, almost 30 percent said that they won't increase wages this year, whereas 15 percent changed the salary growth policy, applying increases only to critical positions.

For 80 percent of the total employees, the benefit packages remained the same. Moreover, the majority (65 percent) doesn't intend to change the variable payments system. In the same percentage, of 65 percent, Romania's companies didn't implement measures to cut back costs with employees during the two months of the state of emergency.

The specialist survey shows that less than a quarter of the surveyed companies (22 percent) returned to work as of 18 May, whereas half of them haven't yet decided when to return. In this context, 80 percent intend to combine work from home with office work after the state of emergency ends (15 May), a large part taking into account employees' options.

Regarding HR activities, over a third (37 percent) of the respondents argue that they will keep their recruitment and onboarding policies unchanged, and 30 percent that they postponed them until the state of alert is lifted. At the same time, 33 percent postponed the training and development programmes, namely changed the processes and tools, especially, in the direction of their digitisation.

The PwC Romania HR Barometer study was conducted between 14 and 18 May 2020 based on information provided by 46 companies, from the following sectors: retail / FMCG, pharmaceutical, IT&C, financial services, automotive, agriculture, industry.

In the portfolio of respondents, 17 percent of companies have over 3,000 employees, 22 percent between 1,001 and 3,000 employees, 17 percent between 501 and 1,000 employees, 31 percent between 101 and 500 employees and 13 percent under 100 employees

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