Amazon's COVID support for Indian employees outshines banks'
It's a known fact that big technology firms are generous when it comes to employee perks. In normal times these amount to free meals, table tennis, and buses in and out of the office. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the perks have become far more critical.
In a post on LinkedIn last week, Ayush Sharma, an engineer working for Amazon in Uttar Pradesh, said that when his mother's oxygen levels began dropping at 1am, he called Amazon's employee COVID support line. Three hours later, Sharma said a driver delivered an oxygen concentrator to his door.
The service went beyond "perks and benefits," said Sharma, describing the service as "extraordinary" and Amazon as not only being "customer-centric" but "employee centric" too.
Amazon lists its support for Indian employees on a series of externally accessible webpages. Among other things, these reveal that the tech firm is using insurance support to set up ICUs and ventilator at home for affected employees and that it's set up a dedicated help-line for hospital search assistance, ambulance assistance, plasma donor search, and oxygen search. It also has a team of 900 volunteer employee 'COVID warriors' who help sick colleagues and their families.
One Amazon employee in India described how the volunteers saved her mother: "Thanks to your actions, she is at home close to her loved ones and her oxygen levels are stable with the support of the machine. Owe you guys one for the help in such a difficult situation.”
Amazon's employee assistance appears more extensive than that offered by banks. As we were first to report last week, JPMorgan has been helping its Indian employees with COVID-19 to book ambulances. In a memo sent to its Indian staff last Tuesday, JPMorgan said it was offering staff, '24x7 ambulance service; partnerships with clinical service providers and hospitals for hotel and in-home quarantine; doctor-on-call service; and vaccination reimbursement support.'
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