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Last Updated : Feb 13, 2020 06:46 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

HBL offers employees temporary jobs in parent company HLL Lifecare as Rs 600 cr vaccine project in limbo

The company hasn't been able to pay full salaries from July last year.


HLL Biotech (HBL), in the news for the inactivity related to its Rs 600-crore Integrated Vaccine Complex (IVC) project located in Chengalpattu, has given its employees the option of joining the parent HLL Lifecare on a temporary basis in any of its units across India.

In a notice to its employees, HBL has set a deadline of February 14 for employees to convey their decision.

Moneycontrol has seen a copy of the notice.

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The postings in HLL Lifecare will be on working arrangement basis and employees will not be eligible for any transfer benefits.

The notice also said the temporary posting will not confer any right to the above employees for absorption in HLL Lifecare or other subsidiaries.

HBL had an employee strength of 174 employees. The company hasn't been able to pay full salaries from July last year. At present, only 130 employees are on the rolls. The company has made an interim arrangement of paying Rs 25,000 per month for executive-level cadre and Rs 10,000 to junior staff.

A source within the company told Moneycontrol that HBL management has indicated that it will stop paying interim wages from March onwards for employees who don't take up the offer. For employees who are ready to make the move to HLL, HBL has offered to pay original salaries.

"HBL is going through an acute fund shortage to manage operational activities. Consequently, the manpower in the Unit is remaining idle and the Company is not in a position to pay the salaries due to non-availability of funds," the notice said.

"In order to tide over the above situation and to help the employees of HBL, continuous efforts were made by HLL to allow them to work in various division of HLL and its other subsidiaries based on requirement through temporary postings," the notice added.

HBL management had previously made a similar offer but received a lukewarm response from most employees.

"I have a Master's degree in microbiology and I am working in quality control. If they give a job unrelated to my qualification or experience, I won't be comfortable. Most of us are from Tamil Nadu and moving to some other state doesn't make sense," an employee said on condition of anonymity.

HBL has been struggling financially as it awaits the execution of proposed disinvestment of its parent firm HLL Lifecare. HLL Lifecare has stopped providing additional funds crippling the project.

Meanwhile, the government is still working on modalities of revival plan including a proposal to write-off debt to the tune of Rs 300 crore, before IVC is handed over to any strategic partner.

Still, there is no clarity whether the government is looking for an outright sale of IVC or retain a significant minority interest in HBL.

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First Published on Feb 13, 2020 06:17 pm
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