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India Inc steps up, foots bill for staff vaccination

By BS Reporters
March 06, 2021 10:44 IST
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RIL, Capgemini, IndiGo among companies which have offered to pay their employees’ vaccination cost.

Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters.

India Inc is gearing up to bear the cost burden to vaccinate employees against Covid-19 in a bid to bring back normalcy in operations and earn some goodwill.


For instance, Reliance Industries (RIL), in a letter to its staff members, said it would vaccinate all its employees and their family members free of cost.

The letter from Nita Ambani, chairperson and founder of Reliance Foundation, said RIL will cover the cost of vaccination for employees, spouses, parents, and children. Nita is also non-executive director of Reliance Industries. The group has around 200,000 people on its rolls.

Nita said this vaccination push was in line with the commitment that her husband Mukesh Ambani and she had made on Reliance Family Day 2020 (December 23, 2020).

Responding to a query on the call for vaccinating employees, Ajay Bansal, president at All India Petroleum Dealers Association (AIPDA) said, “We have written to the ministry of petroleum to declare petrol pump attendants and other staffers as essential workers. This is to get Covid-19 vaccine shots.”

“They were declared essential workers and had performed their duties during Covid-19 lockdowns, but were not considered eligible to get the vaccine jab. The government -- either through oil marketing companies or some other mechanism -- should bear the cost of vaccinating petrol pump workers,” Bansal added.

He said that there were around 700,000 petrol pump workers that need to be administered Covid-19 vaccines.

Other companies are also stepping up to vaccinate their employees. IndiGo said it was footing the bill for vaccinating staffers and their kin. “We are working towards facilitating the Covid-19 vaccination to all our employees in a streamlined manner so as to ensure that all our staff get vaccinated. We are also making sure that our operations are not affected during the process. Vaccines for our staff as well as their families will be sponsored by IndiGo.”

Capgemini also said it planned to cover the cost of Covid-19 vaccines for all eligible employees and their dependents. It currently has 125,000 team members working across 12 locations in the country. The company also tied up with wellness partners to assist team members with queries related to the vaccine. These include the dos, and don’ts, and provide answers to medical queries that an employee and their dependents may have.

upGrad, too, is offering free Covid-19 vaccination to all its employees and their families. The edtech company announced that it will be covering complete vaccination expenses for all its employees. This includes full-time, contract and interns, among others, and their families.

“This vaccination drive will be voluntary for the employees and their immediate families, who can avail it in major cities. The drive is also getting extended to ex-employees who may seek assistance from upGrad. Thus, more than 10,000 individuals comprising staff, spouse, kids, and parents of current employees and ex-employees could be benefiting from this move,” an upGrad statement said.

Wipro Consumer Care (WCCL) said it will be reimbursing its India employees for the vaccination. “It is better that employees get vaccinated themselves because that’s easier and we would reimburse the cost to them,” said Vineet Agrawal, chief executive at WCCL. The company has a headcount of 10,000 in the country. Even Amway is sponsoring Covid-19 vaccination for all its employees and their families.

With inputs from Twesh Mishra, Aneesh Phadnis and Samreen Ahmad

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BS Reporters in New Delhi/Mumbai/Bengaluru
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