India Inc. wears its heart on its sleeve
As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic unfolds unabated, companies are loosening their purse strings for the well-being of their most precious resource – their people.
This includes measures such as granting a “welfare allowance” to staff, paying for and arranging for vaccination of employees and their families, supplementing insurance and granting advances. payday or loans. They pay compensation to the family in the event of the death of a breadwinner, fund their children’s education, allow consultations with doctors and offer quarantine facilities run by the hospital.
Bigger companies have even set up Covid-19 care centers. Some have contributed to government relief funds or helped purchase oxygen plants and concentrators. Obviously, businesses wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Well-being is the key
Companies take the physical and mental health of employees seriously. Take the case of Shailee Chatarth, entrepreneur, Away from Home chain, Pepsico India. A few months ago her father, based in Bhiwadi, Haryana, tested positive. He recovered, but was prone to bouts of depression.
Chatarth says Pepsi’s interventions have helped his father and the family. “My dad uses our Employee Assistance Program which is a hotline with psychologists.” In addition, she, her father, sister and brother-in-law from three different cities use the company’s online meditation services.
Tata Technologies has also implemented several programs including mindfulness sessions for the general well-being of employees. The Accor hotel group ensured that all associates had access to 24 hour advisors. Tech Mahindra has appointed a dedicated wellness manager to ensure employees have access to medications, hospitals, and more. In most other places, HR fits into this role.
Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages (HCCB) has launched a series of weekly wellness programs to empower associates to manage stress. HCCB has also set up a loan fund to meet the needs of critical drugs and hospitalizations. VMware, Inc. is doubling the annual “welfare allowance” for its Indian employees who are now eligible for ₹ 59,130.
Many employees live in small houses, which makes isolation or quarantine difficult. Mindtree has built well-equipped Covid-19 healthcare centers – staffed with paramedics with 24/7 ambulance service and oxygen concentrators – in Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune for employees and members of the immediate family with mild symptoms. Another center is expected to open soon in Hyderabad, said Paneesh Rao, Chief People Officer, Mindtree, Tech Mahindra is also converting some of its campuses into care units. Accenture has partnered with healthcare providers to provide quarantine rooms in hospital-run hotels in seven cities.
Bajaj Auto has created care facilities with more than 250 beds in all plant sites to serve its employees and the community.
Financial support for families
The loss of the breadwinner is devastating for a family. Realizing this, some companies are going the extra mile. Borosil was the first to announce that in the event of an employee’s death due to Covid-19, his salary would be paid to dependents for two years.
Siemens said it would give a lump sum of ₹ 25 lakh and one year’s employee’s salary to the family, and take care of the children’s educational needs.
Bajaj Finserv will pay the family of a deceased staff member an amount ranging from 1.5 times to three times the annual salary; and a fixed amount of ₹ 1 crore for the families of senior employees. It will pay up to 2 lakh per year for the education of a child until graduation and will offer extended medical insurance to the family for 60 months. “We are committed to supporting their families in these difficult times,” said Sanjiv Bajaj, President and CEO.
Luminous says the spouse of a deceased employee will receive a job, dependents will receive three months’ salary, family health insurance will continue for one year, and annual school fees of up to 1 lakh for each child. will be reimbursed up to class 12.
Textile manufacturer Welspun will cover the living expenses, education and health insurance of the family members of the deceased employees. He will pay half monthly salary for two years, medical insurance of ₹ 5 lakh for 10 years, tuition for two children until graduation and consider spouse / children for suitable positions.
Bajaj Auto has also committed support for up to two years after the death of a staff member and in the education of dependent children until graduation. In addition, there will be five-year hospitalization insurance for family members.
Companies organize vaccination camps, source vaccines directly and partner with hospitals. PepsiCo, for example, had its Delhi employees and their family members vaccinated through a link with Apollo Hospitals last week. Other such camps will be held in other cities.
Stories from last year were about India Inc’s heartlessness with reports of job losses at many companies. This year, it’s a turnaround. As Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno, a specialist recruiting firm, concludes, “This pandemic has allowed many executives, for the first time, to see how employee well-being directly affects the productivity of the workforce. ‘organization. Even though empathy was not in the leader’s DNA or the well-being of employees was not the company’s top priority, the scale of disruption in personal and professional life has transformed many. “