IT companies in India are reworking their HR policies to help their employees deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. From additional leaves to separate provisions to address Covid-related issues, tech companies have been working on their HR policies to accommodate disruptions related to the pandemic.
Cognizant has begun the leave donation programme where unused leaves can be donated to the leave donation pool of the company. Any employee who requires leave can apply for it.
Each employee can donate up to 5 days of unused paid leave, the company told its employees in a mail announcing the leave donation programme.
HCL Technologies has introduced the concept of pandemic leaves for its employees. Employees have the option of availing 14-days pandemic leaves in order to take care of themselves as well as their family members in case any of them tested positive.
Many of these companies are giving their employees additional leaves in case an employee tests corona positive. Wipro, in an e-mail statement, said, “We are offering ten days additional leaves over and above the sick leaves detailed in our policy.”
“We remain flexible in case an employee requires to take leave beyond the policy and will decide keeping their best interest in mind,” the company said.
UST, a global IT firm with a presence in India is also doing the same.
Cognizant, on the other hand, gives its employees 14-days additional leave if they have tested Covid positive.
Aditya Mishra, CEO, and Director of CIEL HR Services, a recruiting and staffing company, is of the opinion such provisions will help these companies build their brand. "Salaries are more or less the same across the board, but these initiatives can help build the brand name as these companies can tell potential recruits about these initiatives when they go for placements,” says Mishra.
“But this also means that companies are increasing their costs as the manpower is not as productive as they were and because these are paid leaves that employees are being given. Because of these added leaves, delivery schedules are being affected as compared to those working in other parts of the world where the pandemic has not taken such a shape,” he added.
Apart from offering additional leaves, Mishra says benefits like providing additional insurance cover or treatment or any other financial benefits could dent profits of IT companies, though he doesn’t put a number to it.
Companies like HCL Technologies have committed to providing employment to the unemployed spouse of any employee who has died during the pandemic and look after the education of a deceased employee’s child for 5 years.
UST is also providing quarantine facilities for employees and their families.