18% of the surveyed companies estimate a reduction up to 20% of the revenues as a result of COVID-19 pandemic impact on business, while the majority (65%) haven’t made assessments yet, according to the PwC Romania HR Barometer.
Another 6% of the respondents estimated a decrease of revenues between 20-50%, 2% consider that the decrease will be between 50-80%, while 9% don’t expect a reduction. Of the economic sectors that expect a decrease of the incomes up to 20%, transports are detached with a large percentage of answers (75% of the respondents in this sector gave this answer). Also, 25% of the companies surveyed in the automotive industry (manufacturers and distributors) believe that the decrease in revenues will be up to 20%. The same estimate was made by 22% of responding companies in financial services, 21% of consumer goods (distribution, logistics) and 20% of energy.
“The first sectors that feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are those that depend on the people’s mobility: transport, hospitality, tourism. But the negative effects will gradually be transmitted to other fields of activity because all industries are interconnected. For this reason, rapid measures are needed for the survival of those seriously affected, as well as a medium-term economic recovery plan. I believe that, in the first phase, the measures to be taken must ensure cash flow continuity for those whose revenues are reduced sharply. I am referring to the payment of the debts that the state has towards companies, for example, the immediate VAT reimbursement, the amounts for medical leave, as well as the postponement of the payment of taxes and contributions. In the second phase, after a more thorough impact assessment, a plan of measures should be devised to support the private environment in order to maintain jobs and, implicitly, the incomes of the population and companies”, said Daniel Anghel, Partner, TLS Leader of PwC Romania.
Measures to protect employees
The study aims to find out what measures have been taken to protect employees against infection with COVID-19, as well as the period during which they will be applied.
According to the answers, 89% of the study participants performed disinfection in the office, 85% limited the interactions, 58% instituted work from home only for those who can work remotely, 40% offered protective equipment, 25% implemented work at home for all employees, 13% decided on mandatory work from home and 13% only for the employees who traveled to risk areas.
“The survey includes the opinions expressed by companies shortly before the authorities announce the establishment of a state of emergency, which will clearly speed up the taking of other measures of social distancing and limitation of interaction. I noticed from the analysis of the answers that most of the companies have already taken firm measures to protect the employees without being forced by normative acts issued by the authorities. As can be seen, all the respondents considered that it’s safer that at least some of the employees work from home or in shifts, where permanence must be ensured, showing concern for people and at the same time, social responsibility”, explains Ionuț Sas, Partner, People & Organization Leader of PwC Romania.
Another question concerned the options considered for limiting interactions in the context of COVID-19. Respondents took the following measures: 81% canceled internal and external events; 79% limited foreign travel; 72% limited domestic travel; 55% limited internal and external events; 24% applied the work in turns to avoid crowding.
“In the current context, protecting the health of employees and contributors requires the cancellation or postponement of certain activities, such as events and trips. Although these decisions can have negative consequences for business development, companies care for people’s well-being in the first place. This attitude is evident even from the responses regarding the duration of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thus, 55% indicated that they would set up for an unlimited period, up to new instructions, 40% said they would be valid until the end of March, and 5% until the end of April. Also, in the next period we intend to carry out regular surveys on the measures taken by companies as the situation and regulations change, in order to support the business community”, said Oana Munteanu, Senior Manager People & Organization PwC Romania.
About the survey
The PwC Romania HR Barometer survey was carried out between 11 and 13 March 2020, based on the information provided by 104 companies in the sectors of consumer goods, automotive (production and distribution), transport, pharmaceutical, IT&C, financial services, energy ( production, utilities, distribution), distributors (retail & logistics), outsourced services, others.