Coronavirus: Grab slashes senior executives' pay by up to 20%, tells drivers extra financial help may stop after June 1

Grab Singapore's head of transport Andrew Chan said the firm has been badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Grab has slashed the pay of its senior management by up to 20 per cent and encouraged its staff to take voluntary no-pay leave.

It has also cautioned that it might no longer be able to give drivers more financial help if the current circuit breaker measures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak extend beyond June 1.

The technology firm is the largest private-hire and food delivery operator in Singapore. It is also a major e-payments player.

In a note to drivers on Wednesday evening (April 29), Grab Singapore's head of transport Andrew Chan said the firm has been badly hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Chan said: "As our revenues continue to fall, senior Grab leaders have taken a pay cut of up to 20 per cent and Grab staff have also been encouraged to take no-pay leave voluntarily.

"We had been hopeful that the stricter circuit breaker measures would be lifted next week and people can resume their daily lives. Instead, the circuit breaker period was extended to June 1.

"We may no longer be able to provide extra financial support if the circuit breaker is extended past June 1."

On the financial support for private-hire drivers, Mr Chan acknowledged that their earnings have dwindled as rides continue to plunge sharply.

To help drivers, Grab will continue to cut its commission by at least 50 per cent.

Drivers renting their cars from Grab will not have to pay any commission until May 10.

From May 10 to June 1, those who want to continue to get the full waiver of commission fees will have to complete at least 10 food or parcel deliveries weekly. Those who do not meet this criteria will have to pay a 5 per cent commission.

Drivers who rent their cars from Grab will get free rental on two days each week from May 4 till end-May. Grab said this would help the drivers save about 30 per cent in rental fees.

A weekly payout of either $45 or $85 to help supplement drivers' income will also be extended till end-May.

Said Mr Chan: "Extending the assistance was not an easy decision, Grab's business has also been badly hit.

"It has taken us a few days to confirm this for you, as we needed to reroute some funding."

Funds were diverted from schemes such as incentives for best-performing drivers and cancellation compensation.

Grab employees also made voluntary donations, which were matched by the firm to fund the extension of financial assistance.

The total value of the extended measures was not disclosed.

Mr Chan added that Grab will continue to create more job opportunities for its drivers, such as in parcel and grocery delivery.

All taxi and private-hire vehicle firms have been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

Taxi operators ComfortDelGro and SMRT have said that they will continue to waive the rental - about $100 daily - for their taxi drivers up till June 1 following the extended circuit breaker.

The move will cost ComfortDelGro an additional $17 million and SMRT $6 million.

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