Reliance Industries Rolls Back Salary Cuts Retrospectively, Expedites Performance Bonus

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Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is rolling back salary cuts for its employees and restoring them to the pre-Covid levels retrospectively, a significant marker of Indian industry’s recovery from the Coronavirus slump.

With 3.5 lakh direct employees in the group’s many businesses, the retrospective salary restoration and arrears would put money in the hands of the group’s employees during festival season.

RIL is also giving out performance bonus to employees of the hydrocarbons division that had been deferred in view of the Coronavirus-led uncertainties. The conglomerate is also offering an advance 30 per cent of the variable pay from the next year's salary to its lakh-plus employees as a goodwill gesture.

Reliance in April had cut the salary of employees of its hydrocarbons division by 10 per cent to 50 per cent with Chairman Mukesh Ambani forgoing all his remuneration for the financial year. The oil-to-technology conglomerate had also deferred annual cash bonus and performance-linked incentives.

While Ambani forgo his entire Rs 15 crore compensation, Reliance board of directors including executive directors, executive committee members, and senior leaders saw sizable cut in their pay. Employees with compensation of less than Rs 15 lakh did not have any reduction in compensation but those earning higher than that saw a 10 per cent reduction in fixed pay.

With this decision, India’s largest company has demonstrated leadership by not just restoring salaries to previous levels but also returning the difference, thus negating the wage reductions entirely.

At RIL, the COVID-19 management and employee care strategy was personally driven by Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani.

RIL Chairman has a reputation for prescience and spotting global economic and market trends early on. RIL group was among the first to embark on a belt-tightening drive last year itself. It also announced deleveraging and eradicated its large debt nine months ahead of schedule and that too in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic.

Network18 Media & Investment Ltd, which is owned by RIL, has also reversed the pay cut with retrospective effect, becoming first major Indian media company to restore pre-Covid salaries.

Disclosure: is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited