Employers lend support to Covid victims’ kin; offer insurance cover, financial assistance among other relief measures – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/company/corporate-trends/employers-lend-support-to-covid-victims-kin/articleshow/82592282.cms

Synopsis–From Covid-related death insurance cover and continuing medical assistance to family members to providing employment opportunity for spouse and grown-up children, and support for kids’ education, companies across industries are implementing schemes to reassure employees and their families at a time when the country’s healthcare infrastructure is struggling to cope with the pandemic.

An increasing number of Covid-related fatalities among working-age people in the second wave of the pandemic has prompted several companies to roll out a host of policies to support bereaved families in case any employee succumbs to the disease.

From Covid-related death insurance cover and continuing medical assistance to family members to providing employment opportunity for spouse and grown-up children, and support for kids’ education, companies across industries are implementing schemes to reassure employees and their families at a time when the country’s healthcare infrastructure is struggling to cope with the pandemic.

Last week, e-grocer BigBasket launched an insurance policy that covers death due to Covid for its entire 26,000 blue-collar workers, including those on third-party agency payrolls. “They are the ones who are out on the field and are more susceptible to catching the infection,” said TN Hari, head human resources at BigBasket.

The new policy of Rs 5 lakh coverage is in addition to its existing term life insurance and accident insurance policies of Rs 5 lakh each. BigBasket has an existing insurance cover for the white-collar executives.

Cement and sugar manufacturer Dalmia Bharat is providing unlimited hospitalisation coverage to infected staff.

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Contribution for Dependents
The company is working on policies to support the bereaved family members “in case of the unfortunate demise of an employee”, its chief HR officer Ajit Menon said.

“We may announce the measures next week,” he said. “We are also in talks with insurance companies to include Covid-related deaths as part of a comprehensive insurance policy.”

Essar Capital has set up a ‘benevolent fund’ with contribution from its employees to offer immediate financial assistance to the dependent family of any employee who dies of Covid-19. “Employees across the group contribute to this scheme and the company makes a contribution equivalent to the cumulative one-time contribution as made by all the member employees,” said Priya Chakravarty, senior director-HR at Essar Capital.

NTPC “has decided to provide additional relief to the bereaved families/dependents of the deceased employees to include medical for dependents, accommodation plus education of children till the notional date of retirement” on top of benefits under various group insurance schemes, a company spokesperson said.

The state-run power major is also working on strengthening its death relief (DRS) scheme from existing Rs 18 lakh.

Diversified miner Vedanta has introduced a term life insurance policy with world-wide coverage for all its 12,000 executives across the group. The policy provides coverage equivalent to each employee’s annual salary for five years.

This is in addition to mediclaim and group personal accident insurance policies, Vedanta Group CHRO Madhu Srivastava said. The company has also enhanced medical insurance cover to 1.5 times the existing eligibility.

Global IT company Accenture has introduced an employee giving programme that enables its 200,000 people in India to contribute to a central fund providing financial help to the families of colleagues who have lost their lives.

Bearing Hospitalisation Expenses
Flipkart provides an insurance programme for hospitalisation expenses and home treatment, with a term life cover of five times annual CTC. The ecommerce major also gives medical insurance and personal accident to its delivery executives of up to Rs 5 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively, while the kirana partners are covered under a Covid-19 insurance programme with hospitalisation sum assured of up to Rs 50,000.

Digital payment solutions firm Paytm has launched a special ‘Covid Mediclaim’ option for employees over and above their existing mediclaim policy. “It gives employees an option to have Covid-specific cover for their family members and save general mediclaim for the entire year as we have just started the year,” a company spokesperson said. Paytm has also introduced a Covid-specific term life insurance policy for all its employees.

Its rival PhonePe is providing a Covid-19 allowance of up to Rs 2 lakh to its employees to help manage emergency cash requirements. “Employees in need of urgent funds can raise a request and the amount is transferred to them within four hours,” said Manmeet Sandhu, head of HR at PhonePe. The company’s medical insurance policy covers Covid-19, including domiciliary support in case of non-hospitalisation.

Engineering and construction major L&T provides term life cover and an option of additional Covid death insurance ranging from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 95 lakh across various grades of permanent employees.

IT major Infosys covers Covid-related medical treatments under group employee insurance. Online fashion company Myntra, too, has Covid coverage as part of medical insurance for its employees and their dependents.

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