Why We Need Employee Friendly Laws and HR Policies in the Post Pandemic World
Why White Collar and Blue Collar Professionals need to be helped now
The Covid 19 Pandemic has led to unprecedented disruption and chaos worldwide. Not only have the lockdowns and the quarantines been stressful on the mental health aspects, but they have also led to job losses and across the board salary cuts leading to a Double Whammy of disasters for workers and employees.
Indeed, the situation in many parts of the world, including the developed countries of the West, is so dire that Millions of White Collar and Countless Blue Collar professionals and workers are subsisting on charity and unemployment benefits to get through the days.
It is incumbent upon the businesses and their owners to be compassionate and humane towards their employees instead of being cold and ruthless and firing them or not paying them the salaries.
In addition, it is also incumbent upon the governments worldwide to come to the aid of those displaced and whose lives have been disrupted by the Pandemic.
This is the least that they can do now given that their workers and employees contributed so much to the enterprises during the good days and helped them become what they are.
Creating a Social Safety Net Similar to That after the Great Depression of the 1930s
What governments and business leaders ought to do now is to create a Social Safety Net for the employees and workers that they can then tap when laid off or have had their salaries cut.
While Social Security payments and Unemployment Insurance in the United States does compensate to some extent, world over, and such cushioning mechanism are in short supply.
Therefore, what the developing world needs to do on an urgent basis is to work towards such a Safety Net that would come to the aid of workers and professionals during times of distress.
Indeed, there are parallels and historical precedents here as well since the Precursors to the contemporary safety nets were established during the Great Depression of the 1930s that was the first Turning Point for worker and employee rights.
Similarly, what governments’ worldwide need to do is to act in tandem with the Businesses and their Owners to help create a mechanism that can be used to aid the former
This can take the form of the Provident Fund as is done in India, except that the Quantum of assistance needs to be more and more importantly, ease of disbursal needs to be taken into consideration also.
Why HR Managers Need to be Compassionate and HR Policies Employee Friendly
Apart from this, there is also a need for the HR or the Human Resource Policies and Laws to be more employees friendly.
In case of White Collar Professionals who are now working from home, HR managers ought to ensure that they are sufficiently motivated and rejuvenated so that they can strike the Optimal Work Life Balance.
Indeed, the Pandemic has made working lives worse as the combined stress of working from home and attending to personal chores and duties leaves the employees frazzled and stressed out.
In addition, workers need provisions for salaries not being cut during the lockdowns and subsequently.
While this might not be agreeable to their employers, the aforementioned Social Security Net can come in handy.
Moreover, the governments worldwide have to ensure that the laws are suitably modified to make them more workers friendly.
While this seems to be happening in some countries, there are indications that a majority of the world’s workers have been left to fend for themselves.
This is where HR managers must act according to the dictates of their conscience and ensure that employees who have been laid off or had their salaries cut are taken care of humanely and compassionately.
The Middle Ground between Businesses, Profits, and Worker Rights in a New Compact
Having said that, it can also be argued that Businesses are not in the Business of Charity and hence, all the above mentioned proposals are good only on paper and cannot be actualized or practical in reality.
Indeed, businesses exist to make profits and hence, such an approach that was outlined earlier goes against the very grain of what it means to be in business.
Therefore, it is this spirit of business and profit driven motives that has led to large scale disruption and chaos during the Pandemic.
The solution for this is to find a Middle Ground wherein there is an agreement between the businesses, governments, and the worker unions to work together for mutual benefit rather than being antagonistic towards each other.
As mentioned earlier, this has been done historically when the New Deal in the United States led to a New Compact on what it means for businesses and the workers to work together.
Similarly, what we now need are more employee friendly laws and policies and a New Social Contract that would pave the way to recovery from the effects of the Pandemic.
This is the need of the hour and of pressing importance for us.
Need for Visionary Approaches in Future
Last, we are just emerging from the Downturn and hence, as the Worst of the Pandemic is behind us, it is time to take stock and work towards avoiding the missteps that led to such chaos.
This is also the time to rebuild and recover and at the same time, to strengthen the foundations of the businesses so that they do not collapse in times of crises.
This calls for Visionary approaches from our business leaders and the political and social elites to ensure that all stakeholders benefit and at the same time, we avoid another Great Depression in future.
- Hiring & Firing of Workers: Perspectives
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Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
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