Report: 45,000 resort employees' jobs affected by virus

Photo shows employees at a resort near a jetty. (Photo/Masraah Naseem/ UNDP Maldives)

The Rapid Livelihood Assessment by UNDP and Economic Ministry has shown that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than 45,000 resort employees. 

The purpose of the assessment was to learn about the impact of COVID-19 and formulate instructions to resolve the difficulties arising from the virus. The report is to be formed under phases out of which, the first will focus on the impact upon the tourism industry of the country.

The report read that more than 45,000 employees in tourist resorts are being affected due to the virus. This includes more than 22,000 locals. 

Regarding employment situations, the report stated that a large proportion of employees who were retained at tourist establishments,  lost their income completely as the majority were put on no-pay leaves or reduced wages for the period between April and June 2020.

The Resort Management Survey conducted for the report showed that 16 percent of resort employees were dismissed from their posts due to the economic impact of the virus. The remaining 84 percent, faced wage cuts or no pay leaves.

The Job Center Portal established to report any changes to job status, wage reductions, or no pay leaves, have so far received 724 cases by resort employees. Out of these, 16 percent reported in loss of jobs, 49 percent reported being sent on no-pay leaves while the remaining 35 percent were retained under reduced wages.

More than 55 percent of those dismissed had a contract of no more than three months at the establishment. Interviews had shown that most of the employees were under probation or interning. 

The report also stated that employees who lost jobs and are on no pay will experience an average income loss ranging from USD 600 to USD 1,000 per month for the period April to June 2020. Employees in non-managerial positions who received reduced pay are likely to earn on average approximately USD 325 (MVR 5,000) per month for the period April to June 2020, read the report which warned of negative impact on the households.

Interviews held with resort workers registered in the online job portal indicated that most would not be able to manage household expenses beyond the first month (April) and most did not have any savings, read the report.