The previous 12 months have been an exceptionally difficult time for the vast majority of employers. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many companies facing challenges they had not previously dealt with. The coronavirus has also affected the labour market and, as a result, some of the critical issues that employers have faced in recent years, particularly problems with recruitment and staff retention, have become less relevant.
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In last year's edition of our survey, more than 70% of respondents indicated that the key challenge for them was to recruit the right candidates. The same percentage of companies faced difficulties in retaining their staff. These days, the employees, in the face of an uncertain market situation, are much less willing to change their current job, and they appreciate much more the stability and security of their workplace - says Magdalena Aleksandrowicz, CEO of Contract Administration for Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Despite the difficult situation caused by the pandemic, employers are still struggling with changes in legislation which impose new obligations on them and often require them to adapt internal processes, procedures or IT systems to the new regulations. 44% of companies criticise the obligation to implement employee capital plans (PPK) in small and medium enterprises in 2020, while 28% are dissatisfied with the increase in the minimum wage and rising labour costs. Employers more highly rated the assistance under anti-crisis shields, in particular the possibility to change the system or work schedule (80% of positive ratings), the introduction of an additional childcare allowance (70% of positive ratings) or the possibility to grant unused overdue leave without the employee's consent (68% of positive ratings).
Implementation of changes in the area of labour law and tax law most often causes companies a lot of problems, especially if there is little time to adapt to the new regulations. In 2020, we received questions from a large number of employers about how to obtain assistance from anti-crisis shields as the regulations were not precise enough for them and generated a lot of doubts. The lack of regulation for remote work in the Labour Code continues to be a significant problem - explains Wojciech Marczyszyn, CEO TGC Corporate Lawyers.
In 2021, companies will face further challenges once new regulations come into force, including the obligation to register all specific task contracts , the need to ensure the protection of whistleblowers or the last stage of PPK for the smallest enterprises and the public sector.
Only 20% of respondents indicate that they do not intend to follow a remote working model after the end of pandemic. Most employers declare the use of a mixed model, a combination of working from home and office-based work. Only 3% of companies plan to switch to 100% remote working.
The previous year has made both employers and employees accustomed to remote working, being aware of both its advantages and disadvantages. Pandemic has accelerated technological development in many companies, forcing the implementation of new solutions not only enabling a rapid transition to working from home, but also improving key processes and the daily work of teams. This is one of the positive aspects of current situation - says Izabela Kuśmierz - Latała, CEO of Crowe.
Despite the change in the work model and challenges related to team motivation, the majority of employers do not plan to modify company benefits and introduce solutions dedicated to remote workers. Only 20% of companies intend to implement additional benefits for people working remotely. Most often these are subsidies for running a home office, equipment grants, flexible working hours or online trainings. Few employers intend to provide employees with psychological support.
The survey, Challenges for Employers 2021, was conducted at the turn of 2020 and 2021 by Crowe, Contract Administration and TGC Corporate Lawyers. A total of 60 respondents from HR, board members, finance and administration took part in it.
Challenges for Employers 2021 - Survey results