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Impact of COVID-19 on private sector employees in the Philippines – update

Impact of COVID-19 on private sector employees in the Philippines – update

The Philippine Business Coalition for Women Empowerment and Investing in Women commissioned surveys of 300 men and 300 women employees, aged 18 to 60, from large private sector firms in the Philippines. Following the first survey in May 2020, which examined the initial impacts of COVID-19 on employees, the repeat survey in December 2020 sought to understand how the pandemic was affecting employees after almost a year of living with COVID-19.

Key findings

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on private sector employees in the Philippines:

  • Workers’ productivity has continued to recover since the early impacts of the pandemic. However, in the December 2020 survey, 25% of workers still reported lower productivity compared with the pre-pandemic situation, and 57% were considering working less, as a result of the negative impacts they have experienced.
  • Over half (55%) of workers reported worse mental well-being, and 50% of workers reported worse physical well-being, both increases compared with the May 2020 survey. Older workers reported more resilient mental and physical health than younger employees.
  • Employees attributed these negative impacts mostly to anxiety about the situation, financial and family concerns, as well as exhaustion for women from increased domestic burdens and inability to exercise for men.
  • The majority of women (89%) and men (81%) report having more responsibility at home, for housework and/or caring for children and other relatives.
  • Despite some improvement between surveys, almost half of workers are still receiving lower pay. Lower-income and less senior workers are more likely to suffer income losses.
  • Almost all impacts of COVID-19 are worse for service sector workers, particularly hotel and restaurant workers, whose businesses have been most affected by lockdowns. Across the Philippines, 77% of female workers and 46% of male workers are in the service sector.
  • However, two-thirds of employees reported that COVID-19 has also brought positive changes to their work life. Access to flexible work arrangements was reported by 56% of women and 61% of men as the most popular positive change.
  • In this survey, women and men reported that COVID-19 has affected them in similar ways.

Want to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on employees in the Philippines? Download the fact sheets.

You can also download the fact sheets for Indonesia and Vietnam.

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