Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: How Indian companies are helping staff during the pandemic

Joydeep Sen Gupta/New Delhi
Filed on May 25, 2021 | Last updated on May 25, 2021 at 10.02 pm

The corporate entities unleash a raft of measures that are earning staff loyalty and trust.

India Inc has come to the aid of its beleaguered employees, who have been reeling under the onslaught of the second and lethal Covid-19 scourge.

Covid-19: How Indian companies are helping staff during the pandemic (KT29100525.JPEG)

The corporate entities have rolled out several employee-friendly initiatives (see box), which have come as much-needed support as the new variant that virologists and epidemiologists are calling B.1.617 and has been found to be far more transmissible, leading to an exponentially higher death toll, as compared to last year.

The business houses have unleashed a raft of measures that have goodwill hunting written all over it, earning the trust and loyalty of their employees and a marked departure from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, when redundancy and furlough became the new normal.

The novel measures include paying an employee's monthly salary to the nominee after the person had succumbed to the contagion and till his/her retirement age of 60 years to providing jobs to the next of kin to taking care of children's education till Grade XII or till they become graduate.

For instance, Tata Steel, which is part of the salt-to-software Indian conglomerate Tata group that had clocked a cumulative turnover of Dh389.5 billion in the last financial year and has over 750,000 employees on its rolls and had started its operations in 1886, on Sunday (May 23) announced social security schemes for the family members of employees affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deceased employee's family will not only get h/his last-drawn salary till the superannuation age of 60 years but also medical benefits and housing facilities, the company said in a statement.

"Tata Steel's best-in-class social security schemes will help ensure an honourable standard of living for families (of the Covid-19 victims)," it added.

The steelmaker has also extended help to the families of all its frontline employees, who as part of their job met with an unfortunate death due to Covid-19. The company said it would bear all the expenses of their children's education till they obtain a graduate degree in India.

"The company has always been a shield of steel, supporting its stakeholders at all times. This time is no different. Tata Steel family stands stoically with all its people, committed to their security and well-being," it added.

Similarly, another group company Tata Motors, which reported consolidated revenue of 6,77,057 million in the last fiscal and lost at least 47 employees to the viral outbreak, has unveiled several employee-friendly schemes, the company said in a statement.

Mahindra & Mahindra, which has reported a revenue of around Dh48 billion in the last financial year, has been leading from the front with employee welfare initiatives.

The company said in a statement that it has launched the M-Protect Covid-19 Plan covering all tractor purchases made in May. It is also offering a Covid-19 Mediclaim policy coupled with home quarantine benefits along with a health cover of Dh5,000. Pre-approved loan benefits to cover medical expenses incurred during Covid-19 treatment.

Also on offer is the Mahindra Loan Suraksha securing the loan in case of fatality due to the contagion.

KPMG, the accounting major, is putting together a corpus of funds to support all the families that have been impacted by the viral outbreak. It aims to expand the ambit to families of contractors and several third-party service providers. The multinational firm is looking at hiring the family member of a deceased sole breadwinner if the skill set is found to be relevant.

Panasonic, the Japanese multinational electronics firm, has urged its employees to contribute a day's salary and the company will match it to extend financial support to the dependents of the deceased staff. The dependents will get medical insurance benefits for the next three years.

Axis Bank has set up a corpus of Dh50.45 million towards a staff welfare fund since January 1. A bereaved family is being given Dh10,000 as a one-time payment till the employee's dues are settled. Also, the deceased's family members will get h/her last-drawn salary for the next six months from the time of the death.

And TVS Credit is providing compensation equal to three years of the deceased employee's salary and children's educational expenses till they become graduate.

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