As COVID 19 grips India, technologists in the country are taking to social media to praise or complain about their treatment by employers.
Rajesh, an infrastructure engineer at JPMorgan in Hyderabad, India, said on LinkedIn that JPMorgan has shown it "really cares" about employees during the pandemic. The bank has helped* its Indian employees with everything from COVID tests to quarantine support, ambulance booking and vaccination, said Rajesh. "This really makes a lot of difference," he added. Meghan Cavanaugh, a recently promoted technology managing director at JPMorgan in the U.S., said Indian colleagues were in their thoughts.
Praise for JPMorgan's response comes as most banks are publically making provisions for India as deaths from COVID-19 in the country increase exponentially. Goldman Sachs and HSBC have each announced $10m of aid to help fight COVID in India. Citadel has donated $5.5m Barclays has donated £1m ($1.4m). Deutsche Bank has given €2m ($2.4m) and is inviting employees in India to donate too. Standard Chartered CFO Andy Halford said last month that the bank had 800 employees with COVID in India and that it was seeking to procure oxygen for them where necessary.
Uday Odedra, UBS's country head for India and head of APAC technology at UBS, said the bank has donated $1.5m to "mobilize oxygen, medical supplies and medicines," and that UBS employees were able to donate easily alongside the bank if they wished. The Swiss bank is also making a compassionate payment of $272 to all Indian employees at director level and below in May, deploying a hardship fund to help employees in need, and extending medical insurance to cover home quarantine expenses.
Criticising employers that don't make provision for staff during the COVID epidemic can be a risky strategy, but one employee called out HDFC Bank, a local Indian bank that's India's largest and the country's third-biggest company by market capitalisation. While international banks are trying to help employees, he claimed HDFC is still demanding that back office staff come into the office and expecting staff to be available outside of office hours, despite their burden of dealing with emotionally drained family members.
Following complaints from London and New York bankers compelled to work in the office at the start of the pandemic last year, social media posts by Indian employees are a reminder that staff are more likely to go public with their grievances during times of stress. While JPMorgan's technologists India are happy with their treatment, those elsewhere have been grumbling about the call to return to the office part time from July.
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*In a memo to staff India, JPMorgan said it's launched a number of programs in India including: 24x7 ambulance service; partnerships with clinical service providers and hospitals for hotel and in-home quarantine; doctor-on-call service; and vaccination reimbursement support. Employee donations are also being matched 1:1.