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Amazon gets notice from Labour Ministry regarding layoffs in India

Amazon gets notice from Labour Ministry regarding layoffs in India

Amazon's public policy manager, Smitha Sharma, has been asked to attend a hearing on Nov23.

Amazon has laid off 10,000 employees Amazon has laid off 10,000 employees

Tech and E-commerce giant Amazon has been sent a notice by Union Labour Ministry regarding the recent layoffs in India.

A Anjanappa, the deputy chief labour commissioner, has summoned the company regarding the Voluntary Separation Program (VSP).  Amazon's public policy manager, Smitha Sharma, has been asked to attend a hearing on Nov 23.

After Amazon announced that the company would let go of 10,000 employees globally, Amazon's Indian arm started sending out VSP to its employees urging them to quit voluntarily.

The VSP document shared by the company stated: “This communication is to inform you that Amazon is implementing a Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) which is temporarily available to eligible employees within Amazon’s AET organization. Pursuant to the VSP eligible employees will have the opportunity to resign voluntarily from employment in exchange for the VSP benefits described below. Application Forms to participate in the VSP must be submitted via smart forms between November 16, 2022, and no later than 6:30 am India Standard Time on November 30, 2022 (Election Period).”

Business Today has reached out to Amazon for a comment on the same. The copy will be updated with their response.

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Some of the benefits provided to employees under VSP were: “A lump sum severance payment, less legally required payroll deductions, equivalent to: 22 weeks Base Pay; plus one week base salary for every six months of service (rounded to the nearest 6 months) up to a maximum benefit of twenty weeks paid severance; plus medical insurance coverage for 6 months as per Insurance Benefit policy or equivalent insurance premium amount in lieu; plus o Notice Period or Pay in lieu as per employment contract terms."

Employee associations have been frowning upon this. NITES President Harpreet Singh Saluja noted, "Amazon employees who have served for at least a year of continuous service cannot be laid-off unless served a notice three months in advance and prior permission from the appropriate government. The company needs to submit an application to the authorities along with the reasons for such layoffs. Then the appropriate government authorities will decide whether the layoffs can be permitted or not after hearing both the parties."

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