The corporate giant Cognizant has decided to give two-third of it’s employees in India 25% extra payment over base salary for working during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The company had 203,700 employees in India as of December 2019 and two-thirds of them (130,000+ employees) are expected to benefit from this move. The move is for employees who are at Associate level and below in India and the Philippines, to reward them for their extraordinary efforts in continuity of service even during an epidemic like COVID-19.
Brian Humphries, CEO of Cognizant said in a note to employees said the additional payment will be processed with their April salary pay checks, and that the company will be reviewing this approach every month for efficient implementation. “In recognition of the extraordinary continuity-of-service efforts of our associates in India and the Philippines, and as a tangible sign of our gratitude for their perseverance, we will provide those at the associate level and below with an additional payment of 25 per cent of their base pay for the month of April,” he said. Humphries described the pandemic as one of the biggest shocks to the world in decades and Cognizant, like every company in the world, is experiencing the effects of this public health emergency on both the demand and fulfilment sides of its business, from London to Mumbai to Manilla and New York.
He stated “Even with all of the preparation and foresight of our crisis management and business continuity teams around the globe, it’s hard to imagine that we — or anyone — could have developed a playbook to anticipate the full impact of COVID-19. Yet despite this turbulence, which affects both you and your families, you have risen to the challenge of serving our clients with empathy, initiative, integrity, and courage — all while supporting and uplifting one another, he said thanking employees for their ‘daily acts of heroic leadership.”
Humphries noted the efforts by various nations to contain the spread of this virus — the nationwide 21-day lockdown announced by India, and state of national emergency in the Philippines and said, “We support these and other efforts by governments across the world to flatten the curve and contain the spread of COVID-19. While the pandemic will likely dampen industry demand, we know the requirement for fulfilment remains critical. So we quickly sought to enable work from home to ensure employee health and safety, and to maintain continuity of service for our clients, while absolutely safeguarding their data and protecting access to their systems,”.
The company mentioned that over the last few weeks it has implemented the Work From Home set-up for a majority of the offshore delivery teams by providing new laptops, encrypting desktops and moving them to employee homes, along with providing additional bandwidth for improved connectivity and other requirements – keeping client permissions and security protocols in place.
Cognizant is currently formalising corporate social responsibility commitments to continue to support programs that can help society navigate this difficult period.