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20/10/2020 01:03pm

43 per cent MSMEs, Startups to hire women in next 6 months: Survey

image 43 per cent MSMEs, Startups to hire women in next 6 months: Survey

New Delhi, Oct 20 (KNN) Around 43 per cent Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and startups will hire women in the next 6 months, said a survey by LocalCircles.

The survey, which received over 7,000 responses from startups, MSMEs and entrepreneurs, looks at workforce adjustments and women employment impact due to COVID, along with the outlook on hiring in the next 6 months.

According to survey 25 per cent of the startups and MSMEs said their business has shut down and all workforce has been let go, while 15 per cent said their workforce has reduced by 50 per cent or more. 19 per cent said their workforce has reduced by up to 25 per cent. 6 per cent said their workforce has increased and 16% per cent said they have the same workforce as pre COVID-19 time.

The survey further revealed that 78 per cent MSMEs and startups in India have reduced workforce in the last 8 months since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and only 22 per cent startups & MSMEs have the same or increased workforce as compared to the pre-COVID levels.

''The Government also took steps to help these small businesses through the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme, but its advantages per feedback from businesses in July this year has been quite limited,'' the survey said.

''7 per cent of those surveyed said women in their workforce have been reduced by 50-100 per cent, 12 per cent said women employees have reduced by 25-50 per cent, and 12 per cent said the reduction has been up to 25 per cent,'' it added.

The survey thus validates that the Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) among women in India is one of the lowest in the world and appears to have slid even further during the covid-19 pandemic.

However, 30 per cent said they plan to hire 1-5 women employees, 13 per cent said they plan to hire 6-10 women employees, 7 per cent were unsure about hiring women and 50 per cent said that they don't plan to hire any women employees.

In 2017, the Indian Government passed the Maternity (Amendment) Bill that increased the right to paid maternity leave for working women from 3 months to 6 months – the third highest in the world. Although this was great news for nursing mothers, a ripple effect of this decision was noticed in many small businesses who reduced hiring of women in their organizations, purely due to financial reasons and the cost of funding maternity leave benefits.

Though the Government came back and moved a proposal allowing companies to file reimbursement of 7 of the 26 weeks of maternity pay, there were few takers amongst small businesses. With COVID-19, the women employment situation has changed a bit. With many children now doing online classes from home, working women have been juggling between running the household to attending to children and delivering on their work commitments.

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