British multinational bank Barclays, on Saturday, May 22, announced a slew of measures for its over 20,000 employees and their families in India who are dealing with the deadly Covid-19 second wave. The support includes vaccination and enhanced insurance for the bank's employees and their families (including parents), uncapped paid leave, financial aid and support channels such as a 24/7 COVID helpline, peer-to-peer network support, online doctor consultations, etc.
"With COVID-19 cases rapidly increasing across India, Barclays has introduced a new range of measures to help protect and support employees and their families dealing with the crisis. This follows the emergency support we provided through our charity partners in India last month as part of our COVID-19 Community Aid Package," Barclays Asia Pacific said in a statement.
The new measures offer both financial and on-the-ground support, including facilitating vaccinations, enhanced insurance limits, uncapped paid leave, financial aid and support channels.
"We are very grateful for the resilience and dedication shown by our colleagues in the last year. Given the current pandemic situation in India, we hope that these new measures will lessen the burden on our colleagues and provide further assistance towards taking care of themselves and their families" said Jaideep Khanna, Head of Barclays Asia Pacific.
The main components of the package being introduced for the bank's workers in India are:
- Enhanced insurance: to help protect colleagues from the financial impact of receiving treatment for COVID-19, hospitalisation insurance limits have been raised and certain costs not covered by insurance, such as PPE equipment charges, will be covered by Barclays.
- Vaccination: helping facilitate free vaccinations for all colleagues and their families, subject to availability and government guidelines.
- Uncapped paid leave: all employees can take uncapped paid leave to give sufficient time to recuperate from Covid-19, get vaccinated, and for taking care of a family member.
- Junior colleague financial support: junior colleagues will receive one month's salary in advance to help manage unforeseen expenses.
- Support channels: employees have access to a 24/7 COVID care helpline, online doctor consultations, a peer-to-peer support network, and a 24/7 confidential helpline that provides free counselling services.
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"As the COVID-19 emergency in India continues to unfold, we are committed to support our 20,000 colleagues based in-country and their families." Jes Staley, Group CEO said.
"Our colleagues in India have worked exceptionally hard throughout the pandemic and during this heightened crisis it's vital we offer them the right support. This package has been carefully put together, with the well-being of our colleagues a top priority," he added.
Meanwhile, Barclays said it will continue to monitor the situation for all of its employees globally and is working to ensure they are offered the right support.