By Nicole Sahin
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Covid-19 has impacted the world at large for the last 14 months, but in recent weeks we have watched as it has overtaken India – home to more than a billion, including many members of our own team. As a company, as team members, as family, as friends, we express our deepest sympathy to people bearing the grief of the pandemic and facing the challenge of ongoing lockdowns.
The government of India has sent out a call to action requesting that employers sponsor vaccine drives and do anything possible to help. Over the last weeks, we have been in constant communication with leaders in India, working to identify practical ways to support relief efforts and help stem the tide of this pandemic. Besides managing this for our own staff, companies often look to us for advice related to supporting employees. We suggest the following as best practice from an HR perspective:
At this time, the most effective and efficient way for employers to support relief for their employees is to reimburse the costs of the vaccines for staff via local vaccination clinics nearest their homes. As such, Globalization Partners is sponsoring the vaccination cost for our employees and their immediate families in India. “Immediate family” in India is often defined more broadly than in some countries. In this instance, we have defined immediate family to include our employee, his or her spouse, parents by birth or marriage, and their children.
In addition, as the Employer of Record for our customers’ team members all over the globe, we also believe it is our responsibility to take care of their people as our own. In partnership with our customers, we are sponsoring the cost of all vaccinations for employees on our platform as well as their immediate family members.
Costs for vaccines are USD equivalent of approximately $50 each. Vaccinating a family is a very significant expense for some professionals, and they will greatly appreciate employers sponsoring this cost.
Beyond this practical solution, we recommend that executives reach out and extend empathy and support. While in the U.S. lockdowns have abated and life becomes more normal every day, India and many other countries are only just now facing the worst of the pandemic.
Team members in intermittent lockdown for over a year may be caring for ill family members or living with elderly they wish to protect. Many are sick, scared, or grieving. Taking practical steps to bring relief is essential, but they will also appreciate words of empathy, comfort, and support. Understanding if things are a little “off’ during trying times is also important and valuable.
Finally, get the team involved. We are matching donations of all Globalization Partners employees who contribute to the following efforts:
UNICEF: UNICEF is rushing staff and supplies like critical oxygen concentrators, PPE kits, and diagnostic testing systems to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and support India’s front-line health-care workers. DONATE TO UNICEF
Indian Red Cross Society: The Indian Red Cross responds to disasters like the current coronavirus outbreak by delivering emergency medical supplies and providing emergency services across the country. DONATE TO INDIAN RED CROSS
The International Medical Corps: Working in conflict areas worldwide, the International Medical Corps has launched a campaign to set up isolation facilities as well as provide medical equipment, PPE, and other essentials. DONATE TO INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS
Oxfam India: Oxfam India is supplying PPE, safety kits, and medical equipment to hospitals and health-care centers. They are also working with local policy makers to aid in vaccine distribution and provide direct cash payments to marginalized households. DONATE TO OXFAM INDIA
Rapid Response: This India-based organization is delivering dry goods such as rice, lentils, sugar, and salt and safety kits to poor families, migrant workers, the elderly, and front-line workers. DONATE VIA KETTO
India, we stand in solidarity with you.