150,000 job positions are at risk of disappearing, while if one takes into account the finding that 1 in 7 companies report they may need to suspend their operations, then the overall risk of jobs being lost (self-employed, employers and employees) is estimated at 250,000.
The above conclusions emerge from an extraordinary survey conducted by the Small Enterprises’ Institute Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME GSEVEE) on the effects of the health crisis on small and very small businesses, where it is emphasized that “the implementation of policies where the State will play the role of the last resort employer is essential, in order to replace, as far as possible, horizontal allowance policies and to keep the country’s untapped workforce active”.
- 8 out of 10 (77.7%) companies that partially or completely suspended their operations proceeded with the suspension of employment contracts.
- 1 out of 8 (13.3%) companies introduced remote working for their staff.
- 2 out of 10 (19.9%) companies that did not suspend their operations reduced their staff, while only 3 out of 100 (3.2%) increased it.
- 1 out of 8 (12.7%) of all small and very small businesses may reduce their staff after the lifting of restrictive measures, while only 3 in 100 (3.4%) state that they will proceed with recruitment.
Lack of liquidity
Two elements were highlighted as the most important in the operation of small and very small businesses after the lifting of the restrictive measures. The first underlined the lack of liquidity as the most important problem that 8 out of 10 small and very small businesses will be called upon to face. The second issue, which is to some extent related to the effective treatment of the liquidity problem, concerned the viability of businesses. The survey found that 1 in 7 companies may stop operating in the near future.
These two elements demonstrate the serious consequences of the health crisis in small and very small businesses that, as a result, affect the labor market, as well which seems to be changing dramatically.
Flexible forms of employment
Based on the findings of the research, the situation that has developed in the labor market during the first stage of responding to the pandemic is as follows:
- Suspension of the vast majority of employment contracts for employees in companies that ceased all or part of their operations.
- The recruitment of employees by companies that continued their activity has been put on hold, alongside a significant reduction of jobs.
- Rapid increase in flexible forms of employment as a result of the exponential increase in teleworking, which, however, cannot be widely adopted by very small businesses and important sectors of the Greek economy. /ibna