Careers

Employee assistance programmes find wider focus as companies battle the Second Wave

The urgency arising from the Second Wave of the Coronavirus pandemic is causing many companies to rework their employee assistance programmes (EAP), says a recent study.

A ‘COVID Benefits Survey 2021’ by ANSR, a global organisation that establishes and operates Global Capability Centres, shows that 80% of Indian companies have introduced features in their EAPs to combat the COVID crisis.

In the survey, which is based on responses from 1,50,000 employees across industries, it was found that 58% of the companies have introduced digital wellness benefits, 46% tele-medicine support, 50% advanced preventative care from COVID-19 and 80% well-defined EAPs, says a press release.

Due to the challenges posed by the pandemic, many companies have designed and deployed multiple options to support business continuity.

Fifty per cent of the respondents said they had launched a separate medical policy for COVID-19, which includes relief plans, vaccination drives, curated wellness and mental well-being.

Around 60% of the respondents have their workforce working from anywhere, and this has resulted in many of them offering digital solutions relating to mental and emotional well-being.

Around 50% of the respondents said they were considering reopening their offices in the second half of 2021, but nearly a third said they planned to call employees in only by 2022.

A majority of the companies encouraged employees to continue working from home with 42% providing Internet facilities and other utilities, 40% paying for ergonomic office equipment, another 40% paying for computer and other technology-related equipment and 13% in the purchase of office supplies, said the study.

Companies are also supporting work from home by encouraging employees to take time off. The study found that 67% are providing flexible work timings to take care of children, the elderly and other dependants; 58% of the companies are encouraging employees to avail their unutilised leaves, 17% allow their employees to carry forward their unutilised leaves and 25% even introduced a dedicated wellness day for all employees.


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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 6:27:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers/employee-assistance-programmes-find-wider-focus-as-companies-battle-the-second-wave/article34515160.ece

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