Grab has cut the pay of its senior management by up to 20% and encouraged its staff to take voluntary no-pay leave as revenues fall.
Grab cuts costs in bid to support drivers Grab cuts senior management pay by up to 20%, and will create more job opportunities for drivers PHOTO: ST FILE

Grab has cut the pay of its senior management by up to 20% 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 1 June 2020.

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

In a note to drivers on Wednesday evening, Grab Singapore's Head of Transport Andrew Chan said, "As our revenues continue to fall, senior Grab leaders have taken a pay cut of up to 20% 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. 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."

To help its private-hire car drivers, Grab will continue to cut its commission by at least 50% until 1 June 2020. Drivers renting their cars from Grab will not have to pay any commission until 10 May 2020.

From 10 May to 1 June 2020, those who want to continue getting the full waiver of commission fees will have to complete at least 10 food or parcel deliveries weekly. Those who do not meet this criterion will have to pay a 5% commission.

Drivers who rent cars from Grab will get free rental two days a week from 4 May 2020 until end-May. Grab said this would help the drivers save about 30% in rental fees. A weekly payout of $45 or $85 to help supplement drivers' income will also be extended to 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, 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.

Meanwhile, fellow ride-hailing firm Gojek said yesterday it will extend commission rebates to its drivers in line with the extended circuit breaker measures till 1 June 2020, and will give out grocery vouchers to more than 600 drivers. But it did not give a detailed update on whether discounts on rentals - which account for a major part of drivers' costs - will continue past the original 4 May 2020 deadline.

When asked about the issue, a spokesman told The Straits Times: "The company will continue to review and look at ways to enhance its current support measures."

Taxi operators ComfortDelGro and SMRT have said they will continue to waive the rental - about $100 daily - for their taxi drivers up till 1 June 2020. This will cost them an additional $17 million and $6 million respectively.

On 30 April 2020, The Business Times reported that Deliveroo will lay off a quarter of its 80-strong Singapore workforce as part of a global cut that will hit over 300 workers.