A large number of companies are modifying their leave policy in light of the COVID-19 pandemic by encouraging employees to take days off or capping leave encashment.
As employees continue to work from home and with very few taking leaves – for fear or job loss or due to travel restrictions, such days are piling up, making corporates rethink their leave policies, Mint reported.
HR tech solution provider PeopleStrong found that less than 40 percent employees have applied for leaves during April-June – a significant drop, the report said.
Notably, provision of fixed leave quantum is mandated — per state government requirements — under the Shops and Establishment Act, 1961; while leave encashment is not.
“While most cannot scrap the policy overnight, many are reviewing the number of leaves that would be eligible for encashment down to 15-20 percent. This promotes a healthy working practice and helps address the burnout issue as well," Pankaj Bansal, the co-founder and CEO of PeopleStrong, told the paper.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Navneet Rattan, director - performance & rewards, Aon India Consulting, also told the paper that organisations were either “reducing current leave balance, not allowing for leave encashment, or putting a cap on it" in 2020.
The tech sector on the other hand is encouraging employees to take leaves and not pile them up till the year end.Anandorup Ghose, partner, Deloitte India, said actions by corporates would be guided from the perspective of reducing leave liabilities and improve cash flows, where companies may move annual leave encashment to retrenchment or resignation time instead.