The project seeks to address the following research questions:
- What may be the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and their responses in selected developing countries and sectors in Asia?
- How have employers’ responses affect workers in these countries and sectors?
- What are the government’s regulatory and policy interventions and their effects on different groups of workers particularly those in informal employment and low-income households?
- What are the responses from other key stakeholders such as the trade unions, and how effective have these responses been?
- What may be the lessons learned and to be shared for better policy decisions and impacts?
This project mainly adopts a desk-based research method to examine the financial support from governments to small- and medium-sized businesses in the form of wage or other benefits so that they can continue to employ staff, esp. in the low pay sector. It surveys (via publicly available information), compare and contrast these policy initiatives across selected countries: Australia, UK, China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The project will investigate in greater depth key stakeholders’ actions and policy interventions across the selected countries. The purpose of examining two developed countries, Australia and the UK, is to serve as an indication of what initiatives may exist and contemplate if these could be relevant to developing countries via adaptation and further initiative innovation. In particular, the project will examine the impact of COVID-19 on low-income households and female workers, who are often additionally burdened with care responsibilities, and the potential rise of inequality through secondary data. This data will be supplemented by data from a small number of informal interviews to be conducted via zoom or telephone with key stakeholders in selected developing countries.