In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, some hotel owners in the country have decided to pay 50 percent salary to their employees from April despite the hotel industry being hit the hardest.
As the government continues to introduce measures to slow the spread of the virus and promote the best ways to guard against it, some employers may be reluctant to let their staff go just yet. However, in some cases staff has been laid off.
The Bhutanese interviewed with some of the employees of the hotels, however, they did not wanted to disclose their identities.
Most of them shared that they are happy with the 50 percent of the salary as they are aware of the situation, and how it has affected every sector and hotel industry is no exception.
One of the hotel employees said, “It is acceptable and during this time of pandemic, understanding needs from both the employees and employer. 50 percent of the payment would at least save us from poverty and being unemployed as long as we can pay the rent and afford daily expenses.”
Another staff said that they don’t have any expectation from the company because they understand the current situation of COVID-19 and how badly it has affected the tourism industry.
“We are happy that at least we will be paid and not laid off. Though paying rents and loans will become the major problems,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Bhutan, Sonam Wangchuk, said that as far as the hotel association is concerned there is no lay off of staff and there is no 50 percent payment till March.
He said that the association has almost 200 hotels mostly 3 stars hotels registered as members.
“So far we haven’t received any information regarding the employee being laid off and being paid 50 percent of the salary. However, if the situation gets worst then we are not sure it might happen. The hoteliers cannot say whether they will pay full payment next month or not, but everyone has been working hard and put in lots of effort, so they didn’t layoff or deduct the payment. From May and July, if the situation goes on like this then they might do it,” he said.
He added, “As of March 31, we are confident that none of the hotels have deducted any salary nor we have deducted any benefits from the employees. But from April, I am not sure what will happen or has happened. There can be chances because some hotels opened on March 1 and closed on March 7.”