India Inc goes extra mile to support families of COVID-victim employees

·5-min read

Mumbai, May 16 (PTI) As thousands continue to die and lakhs get infected daily from the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, India Inc is going an extra mile to support the family members of their staff in the form of financial, medical and other support.

This is apart from the massive financial support these companies have already extended to the Centre, state and district administrations and also to non-profits.

It was started off by the glassware major Borosil early this month offering two years salaries to the families of its four employees who died of the pandemic. Now, many more large and small companies are extending financial, medical and educational support to the bereaved family members of their employees who fell victim to the pandemic.

On May 1, Borosil Group Managing Director Shreevar Kheruka said it lost four employees to the virus and announced two years' salary for the kin family of those dead apart from educational, medical and insurance help to them, and the same will be extended to any future eventualities.

In addition to a two-year salary, the education of the children of these employee will be paid till graduation, Borosil said.

Similar steps were announced by drugs major Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor last week.

Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto said it will pay salaries for two years to the family of the employee who dies due the pandemic and fund the education of children of the deceased apart from medical insurance for five more years.

Salaries up to Rs 2 lakh per month for 24 months, education assistance for two children of Rs 1 lakh per child per annum up to 12th standard and Rs 5 lakh per annum per child for graduation will be offered under the assistance policy, Bajaj said.

Realty major Lodha Group has promised to pay 12 months salary to the family of any of its associates who dies of the pandemic.

Renewable energy player Renew Power, which lost an employee to the pandemic, is offering three months' full salary and 50 per cent of the wage for the next two years to the family of the dead apart from offering support to education, and insurance for five years. It employs around 1,300.

State-owned oil major Bharat Petroleum said it will supply 400 tonnes of gaseous oxygen free of cost along with free water and power to a make-shift 1,500-bed COVID-19 hospital opened last Friday at a school run by Kochi Refinery, its Executive Director and Incharge of Kochi Refinery Sanjay Khanna had told PTI.

BPCL is already supplying 100 tonnes of medical oxygen to hospital run by the state in Kerala since last month for free.

Over the weekend, the Wall Street major JPMorgan's Asia-Pacific Head Filippo Gori said the investment bank has set aside USD 3.8 million for the care of its over 35,000 India employees.

He added that the support will be in the form of medical insurance, ambulance service; partnerships with our clinical service providers and hospitals for hotel and in-home quarantine; doctor-on-call service; and vaccination reimbursement support.

Tobacco major ITC is bearing the medical expenses of employees who have been infected by the virus besides extending a loan facility to employees for treatment of some family members who are not covered under the company's medical policy.

Software major Accenture is offering home care services for its employees and family members quarantined at home apart from offering quarantine rooms in hospital-managed hotels in seven cities.

Cloud computing firm VMware has doubled the wellbeing allowance to close to Rs 60,000 for each employee to help them live a more healthy and balanced life.

Amazon on Sunday said it will help its sellers procure 9,000 oxygen concentrators for customers. The first batch of 1,000 oxygen concentrators have already landed and are now available for purchase for consumers and business customers.

Sun Pharma, apart from paying two years salaries, will also pay for the education expenses of the children of the demised employees up to their graduation. Sun, which employs over 27,000, will pay a minimum of Rs 25 lakh and maximun of Rs 1.2 crore, depending on the employee's salary.

Automaker TVS Motor said that in case an employee dies due to the pandemic, the bereaved family will be paid up to three times the gross annual salary to the family and fund the education of his/her two children till they finish under-graduation.

On May 1, Borosil rolled out a support programme for its employees saying the family of its employee who loses life due to COVID-19 will continue to receive the salary for the next two years. In addition, the education of the children of the employee till graduation will also be taken care.

Automaker Mahindra on Sunday offered COVID-19 health insurance of Rs 1 lakh and pre-approved emergency financial support to farmers on tractor purchases made in May under the M-protect COVID-19 plan, as part of its customer-centric initiative.

Mahindra is also covering the vaccination expenses of all of its dealership employees numbering around 80,000, while also providing a one-year medical insurance of Rs 1 lakh for treatment.

Telecom major Airtel on Sunday rolled out COVID-19 support for its customers on its digital platforms.

Under the initiative, Airtel has integrated a bouquet of support resources and related information in the Airtel Thanks app's such as a SOS for medicines, oxygen, plasma donors, ambulance, hospital beds and testing centres apart from booking for the vaccination.

State-owned NTPC has augmented its pandemic care facilities across the country by adding over 500 oxygen beds in New Delhi, besides 1,100 isolation beds at its plants in different states. PTI BEN HRS hrs