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Overview of the employment scene in Malaysia

25 Jun 2020 / 13:00 H.

Despite cost pressures amid Covid-19, most companies in Malays say they are not reducing salaries and have no plans to retrench. Only 4% of companies in Malaysia are considering retrenchment, 5% have implemented a salary cut while 9% are considering the option.

37% have said they will only hire for replacements this year, while 43% are planning a hiring freeze.

Compared to the budget allocated in 2019, 72% of companies are likely to reduce spending on recruitment in 2020.

At the same time, some companies are also taking this opportunity to enhance employee support and engagement.

This is according to Mercer’s latest Pulse Survey, which provides an overview on how Covid-19 has impacted human resources budget allocation as well as salary and bonus implementation among companies in Malaysia.

13% of those surveyed are enhancing work-life balance programmes to enable more flexible and adaptive work arrangements, while 11% plan to increase their budget for healthcare benefits.

Another 6% plan to enhance their training and development initiatives.

Godelieve Van Dooren, Regional Industries and Career Products Leader, Asia Pacific said, “Beyond protecting the lives and livelihoods of their employees, companies are prioritising employee engagement and wellness at a time when manpower costs are being watched closely.

“This reflects a growing recognition among that employees are their most valuable assets, even more so at a time like this.”

The survey also looked at the impact of Covid-19 on salary increment and found that only 5% of companies in Malaysia have implemented a salary cut while 9% are considering the option.

23% of companies are also considering a reduction in budget for salary increment, while 17% have already done so.

In general, companies in Malaysia are said to be decreasing their recruitment budget while prioritising employee engagement and support initiatives to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).

Mercer’s report provides an overview on how Covid-19 has impacted human resources budget allocation as well as salary and bonus implementation among companies in Malaysia.

A total of 201 companies in Malaysia across 12 industries took part in the survey which was conducted between 26 March and 10 April 2020.

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