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How Organizations are Fighting to Support Employees during COVID

Considered one of the worst health emergencies, the ongoing COVID crisis has impacted millions of people globally. The second wave in 2021 has wreaked havoc in India, infecting millions, causing severe shortages of medical supplies, and resulting in thousands of deaths. Amid this healthcare nightmare, organizations are doing whatever they can to support employees during COVID-19.

Key Challenges Being Faced by Employees

Key Challenges being faced by Employees

1. Shortage of Medical Facilities

Covid

With nearly half a million getting infected daily, there is a huge shortage of hospital beds, ICUs, oxygen, medicines, etc. Hence, employees and their families are getting infected by COVID and are unable to get access to timely medical treatment.

2. Lack of Availability of Accurate Information

Walking Wikipedia

Employees are finding it difficult to find accurate information about the availability of hospital beds, and medical supplies. Plus they are also trying to grapple with the entire process of prevention, testing, treatment, and recovery.

Hence, affected employees and their families are running around to get the correct information. It causes panic and distress and often delays treatment, and sometimes even the death of the patient.

3. Financial Impact

Seek Funding For The Program

The costs of medical treatment especially in private facilities are significant. Employees who have been infected or whose family members have been infected are often struggling with the financial implications of the treatment and recovery.

Also, families of employees who succumb to COVID-19 are likely to go through severe financial distress.

What can Organizations do to Provide Support to Employees during COVID-19?

Organizations have responded to the current COVID crisis with great alacrity and are working on a war footing to provide support to their employees.

Here are some of the ways organizations are trying to support their employees through this COVID crisis:

1. Set up Employee Helpdesk

Advent of Customer-driven Employee Rewards System

With the country’s healthcare system overwhelmed by the growing caseload, TCS is one such organization that has set up a COVID-19 Helpdesk for employees to seek any assistance required, along with a 24×7 TCS Medical Hotline to reach doctors and TCS Cares services for counseling.

Capgemini has a centralized,all-India command center that addresses the employees’ and their dependents’ medical emergencies and needs to be related to the availability of hospital beds, ICU, ventilators, ambulance service, blood plasma donors, oxygen concentrators, and medicine requests.

Read  about How India Inc. is helping employees combat COVID-19

2. Provide Home Treatment and Remote Doctor Consultation

Remote Consultation

HDFC Bank is also providing e-consultation with doctors through apps including Apollo 24/7, MediBuddy, and PharmEasy, with PharmEasy helping with the delivery of medicines as well. Additionally, the bank has also provided access to e-consultation with impaneled psychologists through these apps.

Wipro has also launched the nurturing wellness platform, which offers doctors, nutritionists, health coaches, virtual consultations, and 24×7 emergency care experts.

Paytm has purchased home medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators, for its team members and their families.

Read about IT companies expand COVID care facilities for employees

3. Set up COVID Care Facilities

Covid Facility

HDFC Bank has already converted three of its training centers in Gurugram, Pune, and Bhubaneswar into isolation centers for its COVID-positive employees.

Infosys is also following a similar strategy by setting up COVID-19 care centers for its employees and their kin in Pune and Bangalore.

Similarly, TCS has set up COVID-19 care centers for its employees across 11 cities in India.

Further, Amazon, ITC, Capgemini, RPG Group, and Cognizant have also set up COVID-care centers through tie-ups.

Read about COVID Relief: India Inc shows it cares, puts employees’ well-being before profits

4. Modify the Sick Leave Policy

Sick Leave

Most organizations are providing additional paid leave to employees who have tested COVID positive and require treatment. Infosys has said that employees who have contracted or are recovering from COVID-19 will get 21 days of additional paid leave.

Companies such as Tata Steel, Google, Deloitte, and Amazon are providing 14-day special sick leave to their employees testing COVID-19-positive, as a policy.

Others like ITC, Optum, and Phillips have gone a step further by providing unlimited COVID-19 leave policies for their employees.

Food delivery platform Swiggy announced a 4-day work week for employees in May, where employees can choose the days they want to work and use the extra day to rest and take care.

Read about How companies are protecting their back offices during the COVID surge in India

5. Create Testing and Vaccination Programs

Vaccine

Wipro had organized a vaccination camp at its Electronics City campus for Bengaluru-based employees.

TCS has undertaken a vaccination drive for its eligible employees and their dependents, through its hospital tie-ups across locations

Other IT companies such as HCL Tech, Infosys, and Tech Mahindra, too have already set up COVID-19 test centers for their employees.

Similarly, Bry-Air and DRI have been setting up vaccination facilities for their employees in collaboration with Medanta Hospital.

Several companies, including Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Accenture, Grofers, Cars24, and Deloitte have announced that they will sponsor the cost of vaccines for their employees and some for their families as well.

Read about From vaccination to COVID-care centers, IT firms step up employee support amidst a deadly second wave

6. Provide Special Insurance Coverage and Financial Assistance

Insurance

Companies like Amazon are providing advance salaries for employees who need it.

Microsoft announced that they will cover the expenses of their employees and dependents in case there is hospital admission for COVID-19 for up to 10 days. Additionally, they have increasethe insurance coverage by 2.5 lakhs.

Altimetrik has rolled out a special insurance policy for its 2000 employees operating across India.

Similarly, L’Oréal India has offered one-time COVID-19 insurance for those who test positive and has extended this to its field ecosystem of distributors and sales representatives.

Borosil has announced that it will continue paying the salaries of employees for two years who die due to COVID-19. Also, they have decided to shoulder the responsibility of the education of the children of such employees up to their graduation.


Read about Loans, children’s education, mental health: India Inc hand holds employees through COVID-19 second wave

Bottom-line

Corporate organizations are pulling out all stops to help and support their employees  and their families through the current COVID crisis in India.

More COVID Resources

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.