Tech companies lay off employees, decrease salaries as uncertainty looms

LAHORE: Prominent software houses and tech companies have decreased the size of their workforce as well as reduced the salaries of their existing staff as the future of business and economy remains uncertain amid a global lockdown to contain COVID-19.

On March 31, San Francisco-based KeepTruckin, which has offices in Lahore and Islamabad, announced laying off 349 of its employees (18pc of its total global workforce) owing to a decrease in customer activity in its North America operations.

In a letter to its employees, the company further announced reducing salaries by up to 10pc for its workforce earning over $50,000 per year whereas two co-founders took a 50pc pay cut and CEO Shoaib Makani announcing that he would not be taking any salary at all until the crisis was over.

On the same day, Karachi-based software firm Cubix terminated the services of at least 50 of its employees citing COVID-19 lockdowns. The decision was taken in an “emergency meeting” with the employees.

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It has been observed some companies were downsizing their workforce to keep up with the overall operations, while others were implementing across the board pay cuts to avoid layoffs.

For instance, Karachi-based TPS implemented pay cuts to keep employees from losing their jobs in these difficult times. Similarly, Lahore-based NorthBay Solutions has announced 25pc pay cuts.

A day ago, prominent software company NetSol Technologies announced that it was laying off several employees, besides cutting the salaries by 20-30pc across the board.

“In order for the company to stay relevant, the management has decided to reduce the company’s expenses, effective from 1st of April, 2020. It will be implementing a pay cut on employees making more than Rs150,000. A very limited number of resources making less than Rs150,000 might get a salary cut as well,” stated the company in an internal email sent to employees.

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