During the coronavirus pandemic, some 200,000 people, or eight per cent of the total number of employees in Serbia lost jobs, including those who were employed as undocumented workers and as self-employed, the Fridrih Ebert Foundation’s SeConS group study showed,
The research also showed that the hardest burden and highest risk were on women who made up to 86 per cent of the employed “at the frontline of the infection.”
The women also had more work at home than usual, up to 70 per cent.
The study, conducted on a representative sample of 1,600 people who had a job in February, showed that employees in Serbia adapted well to working from home: some 27 per cent used that option, 90 per cent of whom worked from home without encountering major problems, while some 15 per cent were less efficient working from home instead of the office.
“The two-thirds of the survey participants are worried about health risk, 35.6 about the looming economic crisis in Serbia, 16.2 per cent about the potential worsening of freedoms, strengthening of repression and the authoritarian rule,” the study showed.
Almost half of the people, up to 46.2 per cent, were fired because the companies stopped working, while 20.5 per cent were not offered a new job contract after the previous one expired.
In most cases, the workers could not work and take care of their children at the same time and had to quit because during the state of emergency declared on March 15, there was no public transport, nurseries and schools were closed, and social services for senior citizens did not work either.
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People working in private firms, in retail, catering, infrastructure, self-employed and informally employed and those with a temporary job contract, suffered the worst.
Over five per cent had to take leave days, some in an agreement with the employers.
A quarter of employees worked part-time or in a fewer number of shifts, while 5.6 per cent had their wages reduced.
(Nova Ekonomija, 13.05.2020)
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