COVID-19 in Senegal : impact on workers

17 Nov
covid 19

Around the world, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is disrupting the daily lives of millions of people. Thousands of companies are seeing their activities impacted: full or partial closures, disruption of their supply, reorganization of their operating methods, in particular by setting up teleworking to the extent of their capacity.

This report presents the results of an online survey carried out between May 15 and 22, 2020 with a sample of 179 people.

Respondents were invited to be part of the impact of the coronavirus on the organization of their professional activity and on their perception of government measures.

The study sample shows that 40% of the individuals surveyed switched to telecommuting in order to maintain their activity.
This trend is not homogeneous, however. Strong disparities appear depending on the business sector.

The highest proportions of individuals working from home are found in the consulting (71%) and telecommunications (59%) sectors.

On the other hand, the branches of activity “Banking / Insurance” (35%) and “Transport / Tourism” (36%) are those where we have the lowest proportions of individuals in teleworking, except the construction branch where none of the individuals respondents did not report being teleworked.

Around 29% of individuals surveyed saw their activity reduced in partial unemployment. The most affected industries are:

  • “Tourism / Catering / Transport” (64%),
  • “BTP” (63%),
  • and “Agribusiness / Commerce” (46%).

On the other hand, the “Bank / Insurance” and “Post and Telecommunications” branches recorded the lowest proportions of individuals on short-time work with 4% and 8% respectively.

Furthermore, it emerges that there is no significant difference in the average age depending on whether one is on partial unemployment or not. In other words, all age groups are affected by short-time working, both young graduates and seniors.

The coronavirus is not only a health crisis, but it also has economic consequences for households. Almost 22% of the individuals surveyed declared that they no longer received any remuneration since the start of the health crisis.

The most affected industries are construction (62%), Agri-food (54%) and “Consulting” (38%).

It is interesting to note that the “Tourism / Transport” branches, although the most impacted in terms of short-time work, only have 21% of employees who no longer receive any remuneration.

Among the individuals who still receive their remunerations, 28% noticed a drain on their payslips. The branches most affected are Tourism (64%), Agri-food, commerce (64%) and “Consulting” (48%). Employees in the Telecom (4%), Banking / Insurance (13%) and Public Administration (16%) sectors are the least affected by these measures.

The results of the study show that workers have a fairly divided opinion on the sustainability of their s jobs.

  • 31% of individuals surveyed expressed their pessimism about the sustainability of their jobs.
  • 32% say they are “fairly reassured”,
  • 27% said they were “very reassured” while 10% were “no opinion”.

Analysis by age shows that young people are the most pessimistic.

The average age among individuals who have a pessimistic opinion about the sustainability of their job is 34 (the median at 32) while it is 37 among those who are optimistic (the median at 36) .

A look at the branches of activity shows that workers working in “Construction” (75%), “Tourism / Transport” (57%), “Consulting” (57%) and Agribusiness (54%) are the most pessimistic about the sustainability of their jobs.

On the other hand, workers in Public Administration (78%), Health (73%) and “Banking / Insurance” (65%) remain the most optimistic about the sustainability of their jobs.

It also appears that almost almost all of those polled are pessimistic about the current situation.

  • 58% of individuals surveyed find the general context around COVID19 very worrying.
  • 37% expressed moderate concern while only 4% of respondents remain reassured.
  • There is no significant difference in the assessment of the general situation depending on the age group.


Overall, people surveyed have a very mixed opinion on the government’s response to COVID19.

For 19% of those polled, the measures taken were “not at all good” and 27% had a negative but more moderate opinion. In sum, 46% of individuals surveyed have a negative opinion on the measures taken by the government.

In contrast, 37% of respondents find that the government has taken good measures, 5% consider the measures very good and for 2% of respondents the measures taken are excellent.

10% of respondents remain without opinion on this question.

It should be noted that there is an over-representativeness of young people (under 30) among respondents who have no opinion on the actions taken by the government.

The analysis by branch of activity shows that the construction industry, despite being very affected by the events, is home to the highest proportion of individuals who have a favorable opinion (62.5%) on the measures taken by the government.

In second position, we have the agents of the health services and the Post and telecommunications where 54.5% of the individuals surveyed find that the government has taken the right measures.

In contrast, we have the “Tourism / Transport” (57%), “Banking / Insurance” (52%) and “Consulting” (52%) branches of activity which show the highest proportions of employees with a unfavorable opinion on the response measures undertaken by the government. Men have a better opinion on the measures taken by the government compared to women. In fact, there is a significant difference between the proportion of men who find that the government has made the right choices (52%) and that of women who share the same opinion (28%).

We have 60% of those polled who are against a containment of the population. But this result shows some disparities depending on the respondent’s industry. In fact, workers in the “Banking / Insurance” branches are overwhelmingly in favor (52%) of the imposition of general confinement of the population. Individuals carrying out the work of “Consulting” also display a relatively high level (47%) of members in favor of confinement of the population.

On the other hand, workers in the public administration and in the “Tourism / Transport” branch have the highest proportions of individuals unfavorable to the implementation of a general confinement of the population with respectively 69% and 64% of the individuals surveyed.

Overall, the study reveals that the majority of the population have moderate confidence in the government in managing the health crisis. Indeed, 41% of respondents say they have average trust in the government, 16% trust it “fairly high” and 3% trust it “very high”.

Conversely, 25% have low confidence in the government, 12% give it “very low” confidence and 3% do not give it any confidence in the management of the health crisis.

Analysis by industry shows that it is employees in the “Health” and “Banking / Insurance” branches who trust the government the least. There are 55% and 52% of employees in these industries, respectively, who do not trust the latter in managing this health crisis.

Furthermore, the study reveals that the individuals surveyed are not optimistic about a rapid control of the epidemic (less than 03 months).

  • 47.5% think the epidemic will go away in at least six (06) months
  • q21% think it will last for at least a year.
  • Only 6% of respondents think that the epidemic will be brought under control in the coming month (01 month) and 26% bet on control of the epidemic within three (03) months.

We see that it is the employees of the “Health”, “Consulting” and “Banking / Insurance” branches of activity who are the most pessimistic. Indeed, we have 81% of health workers who are pessimistic (at least 06 months) about the end of the epidemic,

  • 81% of employees in the “Consulting” branch
  • and 71% among “Banks / Insurance” share the same opinion. Note that it is among students that we have the highest rate of optimism with 53% of respondents who think that the epidemic will be brought under control within three (03) months.

Different job retention systems have been adopted depending on the sector:

  • Teleworking for 40% of the individuals surveyed (with a predominance in the consulting and telecommunications sectors).
  • Partial unemployment has also been activated for 29% of individuals (mainly in tourism / transport / catering and construction).

If 22% of employees no longer receive a salary, among those who do receive it, 28% have seen their remuneration decrease.

The future prospects are perceived differently depending on the sector of activity: if workers in public administration, health and banking / insurance are fairly confident about the sustainability of their jobs, those in the construction sectors , tourism / transport, Consulting and agribusiness are mostly rather pessimistic about employment prospects.

As for crisis management, opinions are generally very mixed. In fact, 44% of individuals surveyed consider the government measures to fight the pandemic to be good, while 46% of them have a negative opinion.

However, only a third of people believe in short-term control of the health crisis.

Author: Testeur TESTNOM