As the government-ordered lockdown to suppress the rapidly spreading Covid-19 pandemic continues, more companies are resorting to cutting employee pay as an alternative to large-scale retrenchments.

It will be agonising for workers in a country with dangerously high levels of household debt relative to disposable income — which stood at about 70%, according to the Reserve Bank data — and in which pay increases were at record lows even before the crisis...

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