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The Covid-19 pandemic created unprecedented times for organisations and their workforce, with no textbook manual on how to cope with shutdowns and the various waves of infections. Looking to the future, some sectors face a very challenging business outlook and high uncertainty; others may see opportunities for accelerated growth. But everyone is still assessing the impact of the crisis on their business. 


HR is in the spotlight: asked to support management and employees with the health crisis, while also managing people and HR costs in response to the new business and industry outlook. In a volatile environment, the key challenge for HR is how to contribute to the financial imperatives facing the business, while also helping to regenerate momentum through the People agenda. 


Mercer conducted a survey on Sustainable Labour Cost Management in June – July 2020 at the request of many clients, who were seeking clarity on the labour and HR cost management measures other organisations were taking in response to Covid-19. The survey also looked at how the crisis has increased emphasis on related topics, such as the flexibility, digital collaboration or agility, and whether the pandemic has created opportunities to fast-track changes, that were in certain cases long overdue.

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