At a time when the country is in the grip of a deadly second wave of the pandemic that continues to claim thousands of lives on a daily basis and people are struggling to maintain sanity, Indian companies have extended a helping hand to their employees.
Firms are rejigging work calendars, making schedules more flexible and devising generous leave policies. Workplaces are also leveraging their network and partnerships to provide medical and other emergency services to their staff besides offering financial support.
Flipkart, for instance, has introduced a Covid care leave policy that allows employees to take up to 28 calendar days of paid leave for self-care and healing. The company’s staff can also apply for bereavement leave under its time away from work policy.
The firm has enabled employees to seek an advance on their salaries to address medical emergencies or any unexpected expenses on an urgent basis.
Flipkart said it will cover 100% vaccination cost for all its employees, including five dependents each. Besides partnering with hospitals to facilitate vaccination camps at its offices, the company is also working closely with partners to offer a range of services to its corporate and supply chain staff, including support in finding hospital beds, arranging Covid tests and isolation facilities in hotels.
Byju’s has set up a Rs 20-crore CEO’s fund to cover Covid-related medical expenses for employees and their dependents. Employees can apply for reimbursement from this fund to cover hospitalisation costs for themselves as well as their families.
The ed-tech firm has also tweaked its leave policy to incorporate additional Covid privilege leave (paid leave). Employees can avail the same in case they or their immediate family members are impacted. Byju’s is also working to enable vaccination support for its staff.
Swiggy has implemented a four-day work week for the month of May. The startup has also launched a Swiggy shield app and employee support hotline to help staff members access hospital beds, ICUs, oxygen cylinders, ambulance and other related services.
Earlier this month, the company started Covid vaccination drive in Bengaluru for its delivery partners and frontline staff from its grocery delivery service Instamart and its brand kitchens. Swiggy said it will cover the loss of pay for the period the delivery partner spends in getting both the doses. If partners choose to get vaccinated at a government facility, the firm will continue to cover the loss of pay for that period, it claimed.
In a similar move, Oyo Hotels & Homes has shifted to a four-day work week for the months of May and June while also launching a policy of no questions asked flexible infinite paid leave.
“Covid continues to test our physical and mental well-being. One thing that truly matters is having more time for our loved ones and ourselves,” said founder & CEO Ritesh Agarwal. The firm recently concluded a Covid vaccination drive in partnership with Max Healthcare for Delhi-NCR covering over 500 members (including their families).
upGrad has procured oxygen concentrators in Mumbai, NCR, Bengaluru (to be extended to more cities) which they are distributing among employees and their family members pan-India as per need. “One can take as much leave as they want as our utmost priority is their health and wellbeing. This is over and above their 40 annual leaves,” said co-founder & MD Mayank Kumar.