IT and multinational companies in India are taking steps to ensure the well-being of their Indian employees and their families as the country continues to remain in the grip of COVID-19.
As the first wave of the pandemic died down earlier this year, companies were planning to gradually bring employees back to offices from June onwards. But the ferocious second wave of COVID-19 has forced them to reconsider their plans.
Infosys, Wipro, Flipkart, Accenture, ANZ Operations and Technology, Cognizant, among others, have taken measures to help employees with medical aid and also altered leave policy to benefit those suffering from – or taking care of families members infected with – the disease.
From arranging oxygen concentrators to holding vaccination camps, from giving tele-consulting support to paid time off to take care of family members, companies are reaching out to their employees in various ways.
In an email response to The Federal, Accenture India said the company has partnered with healthcare providers to offer quarantine rooms in hospital-managed-hotels in seven cities across India, for employees and family members who tested positive for COVID-19.
The company has also arranged 24/7 doctor tele-consultation, offered to cover the cost of vaccinations, and provided mental wellness support for employees and their families.
“At Accenture, the safety and well-being of our people continue to be our top priority. We have put in place a range of measures to provide care for our people and support their health and wellness amidst the pandemic,” the company said in a statement.
One of the employees working for the company said they even managed to procure nearly 1,700 oxygen concentrators for employees who were in need of those.
In another prominent initiative, the company introduced an additional leave benefit called the ‘COVID-19 Caregiver Leave’ of five days for employees to take care of their family members who had tested positive.
The pandemic has prompted companies to look at ways to not only ensure business continuity but also care for employee wellbeing.
Infosys, the homegrown consulting major, has set up ‘Employee COVID Care Centres’ in Pune and Bengaluru, managed by Ruby Hall Hospital and Manipal Hospitals, respectively. “Infosys is also in the process of setting up similar care centres across its major offices in India,” the company said.
Besides, the company has also established vaccination centres for employees and their family members at some of its campuses. “Infosys has also collaborated with over 130 hospitals in India, where employees and their family members can visit to get vaccinated,” Rishi Basu, head of corporate communications, India, said.
Wipro has partnered with Connect and Heal, a tech-enabled online-to-offline delivery platform, to offer free COVID-19 vaccination support services to its employees and their family members.
Meanwhile, Flipkart, which serves customers through their offline partners, has taken initiatives to set up oxygen concentrator facilities and offered to bear 100 per cent premium of COVID insurance extended to all sellers, covering hospitalisation and consultation between ₹50,000 and ₹3 lakh.
#News: @Flipkart brings a slew of initiatives to support its lakhs of sellers & artisans
● Financial & health benefits for all Flipkart marketplace sellers
● To bear 100% premium of #COVID19 insurance for all transacting sellershttps://t.co/jrgsEhGIDd@FlipkartSellers
— Flipkart Stories (@FlipkartStories) May 7, 2021
The company has so far helped to supply 250 five-litre oxygen concentrators, 125 (47-litre) oxygen cylinders to people of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
“Flipkart and Myntra are also working closely with partners to offer support in finding hospital beds, arranging doctor tele-consultations, facilitating COVID-19 tests, identifying suitable quarantine facilities, arranging isolation facilities in hotels through hospital partnerships and providing medical supplies for all corporate and supply chain employees,” it said in a blogpost.
Along with @FlipKart, @FlipkartStories and @PhonePe, we’re standing with India. As part of our commitment, relief is reaching hospitals battling COVID-19, as we work with partners like @IMC_Worldwide, @DFYIndia and @Americares to deliver oxygen supplies. https://t.co/rvsSCiNeTF pic.twitter.com/R5EmBkdbN7
— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) May 13, 2021
India on May 17 recorded 2,63,533 new COVID-19 cases, the lowest in 28 days, according to Union health ministry data. With this, India’s COVID-19 tally crossed the 25-million mark. Even as the virus spread to rural areas, the country marked the deadliest day with 4,329 fatalities on May 17, the highest single-day toll so far since the pandemic started.