India Inc has stepped up with a helping hand through various initiatives like testing vaccination camps, financial aid, medical help and resource access for COVID-19 care. Companies are tweaking policies on loans, insurance and leaves, to help employees take care of themselves and their families amid the second wave of pandemic.
Many corporates have updated the group Mediclaim policy to cover COVID-19 related expenses for employees and their families. Kristyl Bhesania, executive vice-president and head (human resources) at Tata AIA Life Insurance, said they are offering COVID-19 Kavach policies for employees and their family members to meet the medical expenses, in addition to Group Term and Mediclaim cover.
Vibhash Naik, head (HR, Learning & Development and Admin) at HDFC Life said they have taken initiatives like doctor on call, facilitation of COVID-19 vaccination, mediclaim e-cards and hospitalization. He said oxygen concentrators are being made available in select cities. “Medicines and laboratory tests at discounted rates are available for the employees through an app.”
Capgemini has a centralized, all-India command centre that addresses the employees and their dependent’s medical emergencies and needs related to availability of hospital beds, ICU, ventilators, ambulance service, blood plasma donors, oxygen concentrators and medicine requests. The company has also initiated a Project O2 to provide oxygen concentrators for its employees and their dependent family members who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Dilip Pattanayak, JSW Chief Human Resources Officer, said at the plants they have adopted staggered shifts, social distancing and restricted movement, and the use of technology to minimize personal interfaces. The company is committed to bearing the cost of vaccination for all its employees, family members and associates, and is ensuring that vaccination drives are accelerated at all facilities.
Bajaj Auto has already taken various initiatives for its employees life COVID Care Centre, testing facility, vaccination camp and food provision to the needy. It said as many as 1,140 patients have benefitted from the COVID Care Centre facility at Bajaj Vihar, Waluj.
Companies have become generous and are taking efforts to provide support during such times. “Considering increased medical expenses, ICRA has launched COVID insurance plan for employees and their immediate dependents. We have also set up an emergency response team which will help in cases which require hospitalization and extreme emergencies, this team will closely work with the insurance company to make the process seamless for our employees,” said Sheetal Sandhu, group CHRO of ICRA Ltd.
Moreover, companies are demonstrating empathy through various initiatives for the overall well-being of employees and even taking care of their families. Many firms have offered advanced salary benefits to employees who require financial assistance. Some have also released annual increments and bonuses.