While some companies have assured employees that they will not lose their jobs, some have offered professional assistance for their mental wellbeing.

Image for representation
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, March 27, 2020 - 07:53

India being under a lockdown, while global trade slowing down because of COVID-19 has come as a major blow to Indian Inc. But with companies staring at possible losses, employees stand worried about the security of their jobs and their income.

However, besides allowing employees to work from home, several companies have stepped forward to assure employees that they will be taken care of amid this pandemic.

Here is what some of the companies are doing:

Reliance Industries

Reliance has said that it will continue to pay contract and temporary workers, even if work has halted due to this crisis.

For those earning below Rs. 30,000 per month, salaries will doubled, and paid twice a month to protect their cash flow and mitigate any overwhelming financial burden.

Tata group

Tata too, has said that it will ensure full payment to all daily wage earners and contract workers.

"During this time of crisis, our group companies commit to ensuring full payments to the temporary workers and daily wage earners who are working in our offices and at our sites in India for the months of March and April 2020, even if these workers are not able to work due to either quarantine measures, site closures, plant shutdowns or other reasons," N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons said in a statement.

Tata Steel reportedly tweaked its leave policy and included a ‘special leave’ for employees that would need to be in quarantine. This, the company has said, will be applicable for white as well as blue collared workers.

RPG Enterprises

RPG too, has introduced an ‘exceptional leave’ policy with full pay, and has advised employees to take leave for as long as they would need to, if working from home is not an option.

Kotak Mahindra

The private bank has said that it will reimburse its employees and their family members for COVID-19 (coronavirus) tests.

Vedanta

Vedanta has reportedly promised employees that it will not cut salaries or fire any staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also include temporary workers.

It is also providing its employees with a special one-time insurance cover for them and their families against coronavirus.

Companies such as Aditya Birla group and Essar have also promised not to lay off employees, or cut their salaries.

Rajiv Bajaj, MD and CEO of Bajaj Auto said in a media interview that he will cut his salary to zero before a single employee is laid off.

Pay cuts

The impact on businesses, however, is massive. In the light of this, several companies have announced pay cuts at a senior level.

Onkar Kanwar and Neeraj Kanwar, promoters of Apollo Tyres announced a 25% cut in their pay. Meanwhile, the top management will take a pay cut in the range of 15-25%.

IndiGo too, instituted a pay cut for senior employees, with CEO Ronojoy Dutta himself taking a 25% cut. The CEO, however, assured employees that their salaries and leaves will not be deducted with the company having to temporarily suspend operations.

GoAir meanwhile instituted a pay reduction measured across the board as it deals with the impact of COVID-19 on its business. While it said that the top management's pay will be reduced by 50% during this period, the quantum of reduction varies in scale for various grades of employees with the least burden being put on the lowest salary earning category in the company.

Air India, as part of a cost-cutting measure, announced a reduction in the allowances of executive pilots, cabin crew and officers.

It withdrew the executive entertainment allowance from executive pilots, reduced the layover allowance for cabin crew and decreased fuel reimbursement allowance for officers.

Mental health

With India asked to stay at home for the next three weeks, some companies have offered professional assistance to employees to deal with the effects of social distancing.

Deloitte has reportedly set up a counselling helpline. Using this, the HR team calls employees almost every day and if needed, will refer the employee to a counsellor. 

According to Economic Times, Microsoft has roped in experts to speak about mental health and wellbeing in the new world with employees and managers for about an hour. This will also include understanding the coronavirus and the importance of self-care.

Proctor and Gamble (P&G) has been inviting experts to speak through webinars to help employees maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing.