The impact of COVID-19 and how we responded...
The purpose of this page is to inform you transparently how we have and are reacting to COVID-19 (C-19). While we as a company are confident in our business, from an ethical perspective, we feel that as a company, it would not be right to claim guarantees for the future. With C-19, it means we live in uncertain times and for a private company to make blanket guarantees would just not sit right with us from an ethical standpoint. Instead, what we choose to do is to share with you transparently, how we as an organisation handled and is handling the latest wave of C-19. We believe that with full transparency, it affords you as a prospective candidate the opportunity to make informed decisions.
COVID-19 has devastated the education sector and we as a company and we as individuals have inevitably been affected. Here, we will let you know what has happened so far.
In late January, the Education Department Bureau (EDB) has forced all schools to close. Since we are registered schools, we fall under EDB's regulation. We have therefore been closed since late January. What happened next was, we issued a Battle Plan to keep the company and the people alive as long as possible. We are happy to say that as of the end of March, we have not yet had to lay any one off due to COVID-19.
So how did we respond to COVID-19?
Well, what we did not do was put our people on nop-pay-leave since this was tantamount to letting our people go since if they were not paid, they would in-turn fail to pay their rent liabilities and would thus have to return to their home country. We decided that our company would pay for our people's rent (up to a maximum of $8,000) and an additional subsidy ($6,000) for basic items like food. This was tough, but then again, it was tough for everyone and every industry. With a reduced salary. we were not living in luxury, but our people could survive and did survive. What we did was, we put our people on the contractor agreement (see below).
Before we explain the contractor agreement, it is important that you understand the rationale that drives it. Our core principle objective is to ensure the company and its people survive. You cannot have one but not the other. Our policies, therefore, were all influenced by this principle objective. A case that illustrates this point is the question, "if my rent is $6,000, then can I pocket the remaining $2,000?" In the spirit of the principle objective, if the rent is below $8,000, e.g. $6,000, the member of staff will only get $6,000. The remaining $2,000 cannot be transferred to the subsidy. If it could, we would have just set the salary to $14,000. The reason for this is because our principle objective is to ensure maximum chances of survival for the company and its people...it is not about being fair.
In return for being paid about 40% less, teachers would work about 40% less. In addition, teachers do not need to come to the centre to work, but they are advised to work at the comfort of their own home. However, should there be a need, the centre's facilities will always be made available for teachers.
When the Company decided to resume school, it asked all its people to return to work as usual and as such, all our people's original pay was reinstated.
This was what happened in the first 3 waves. As of the time of writing (7 September 2020), we are in the 3rd wave and we took the same action for each wave. While we cannot guarantee that the same course of action will be taken, our previous actions can nonetheless act as a point of reference. You can read more about the contractor agreement below.
You can read the dummy contractor contract here.