Workers look forward to the end of the year, often not just for the holidays but also for the pay increases and bonuses, depending on the company’s performance for the year.
But in the last two years as the Covid-19 pandemic dominated headlines, badly hit companies have been forced to freeze hiring and retrench workers while other firms struggle to stay afloat.
Andrew Tjioe, managing director of Tung Lok Restaurants (2000), says Covid-19 is by far the worst his company has faced — far worse than the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in 2003. The company was forced to retrench 200 workers and cut salaries across the board. “With the several on-and-off restrictions last year, our business was really hurt and if we didn’t do anything, I would not be here speaking to you.” he says.