Stanka Pejanovic, the executive vice president of Hisense Gorenje Europe, emphasized that, under the current circumstances, the most important thing was to reorganize the operations as soon as the crisis appeared and to maintain them for its duration.
– It is known that the social dialogue is on a much higher level in Europe. The number of vacation days is much larger and it was important to make the harmonization of collective annual leaves with the situation as the first measure. Another option is to work from home, but people who have to work in factories should also be enabled to do so. We all need to be very patient, as this is a question of survival.
She also said that, if the government has a decree banning certain activities, those activities are the first to be subsidized, such as the hospitality industry.
– If the employees are on hold, the companies should pay out 80% of the salaries, and half of the amount will be subsidized by the state – Pejanovic said.
Care for the employees and making sure that no one is exposed to risk is the main focus at the moment, according to Biljana Bogovac, a partner at the auditing and consulting company PwC.
– It's important to protect people as much as possible. Crisis planning, global, regional and local, is required, so as to prepare the best case and the worst case scenarios. The infodemic is a serious attack on us all, that is, how to choose which piece of information to base one's decisions on. The focus is also on not breaking the suppliers chain, but also on the quality of information available to people, which can lead to wrong measures and decisions – Bogovac said.
The hotel industry was the first to be brought down, as the income which measured tens of thousands of euros a day is now earning several hundred euros, noted Zivorad Vasic, the senior vice president and regional director of IHG, Delta Holding.
He also reminded that, in America, six to eight billion people had lost their jobs in the hotel industry the previous day, and the industry generates EUR 700 billion annually.
– The state has to adopt a set of measures that would help everyone. We need to find a way for companies to survive. One of the solutions is to pay attention to what is going on in the world. Delta has invested EUR 400 million and plans to invest as much, as we want to build. We need to keep the employees, but the employees must also suffer some consequences, as there is no liquidity. We have offered jobs to people in some other business systems of ours. We will continue working on preserving the capacities. Employers and employees need to talk openly and the morale needs to be raised. Once this is over, there will be work for everyone – Vasic said.
Aleksandar Hangimana, the director of Manpower Group Balkans, reminded of the experience from 10 years before, during the economic crisis.
– The companies which kept the employees and split the cost came out of the crisis stronger and better. It's very important to remain optimistic. The three options we propose is to stop working for up to 45 days, while the employer pays 65% of the average salary in the past 12 months, to reduce the working hours and to pay minimum wages in order to overcome the crisis – Hangimana advises.
Let us remind that the Serbian Association of Managers will continue organizing online discussions each Thursday
to the end of informing and helping companies. S. Petrovic