COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Ways Employers Can Stand By For Their Employees At Times Like This

It is not at all pleasing to see how fast the coronavirus or COVID-19, as it is scientifically referred to, is spreading across the world. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 outbreak as a global pandemic earlier this month. When WHO designates a disease or condition as pandemic, it is clear that we are going to witness a global disease outbreak. The worst part of it all is that we are dealing with a new virus for which there is very little information available with even the experts. In the last month, we have seen the utter devastation that COVID-19 Pandemic has caused in Europe, especially in Italy and Spain, two countries that have even overtaken China, where it all started, both in terms of total cases and number of deaths. Now the deadly coronavirus has seized the US as well, with it topping the list of countries that have reported the most number of corona positive cases.

On the other hand, India has coped quite well till now. But, there still is a long way to go. The government is doing its bit in ensuring that people are aware of the severity of the disease and that nobody presses the panic button too soon. The Indian government has enforced a 21-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown, which will end on 14th April. By doing so, it hasn’t only made sure that the spread of COVID-19 pandemic is minimized, but has bought itself valuable time to prepare itself for the worst. Now, let us see how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted employers and employees and discuss some benefits that employers need to offer their employees in the midst of this global crisis. 

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COVID-19 pandemic has infiltrated every area of our life. Businesses are shutting down and workers are asked to go back to their native places in the midst of the coronavirus lockdown imposed by the Indian government. The financial uncertainty surrounding individuals and businesses is another very critical aspect of the coronavirus pandemic. Many workers are confused about the status of their employment and whether or not they will be eligible for any benefits that they are entitled to. This is the time when employers need to come out and clear the air, if you like. They need to communicate to their employees, in unequivocal terms, all the benefits that they will be offering them during this period.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has made many employees feel vulnerable. Businesses are built on the hard work of both business owners as well as employees. This is the time when employers should come out and return the favor. The first thing that they need to do is ease the financial burden of their employees. Offering paid sick leaves to those who are observing the quarantine or even those who can’t come to work due to the nationwide lockdown is one way of letting your employees know that you are with them in this period of financial uncertainty. What you do now for your employees will have a huge impact on how your business performs when the situation returns to normalcy. So, be very considerate and don’t let anything stop you from helping those who aren’t as fortunate as you.
  • Make sure you bring in special healthcare programs to provide continued health coverage to your employees. The situation is grim and the numbers are continuously increasing. Employers need to take steps to not let their employees suffer due to unavailability of health insurance. If it wasn’t there already, make sure you buy an emergency group health insurance plan for your employees so that everybody gets access to quality healthcare services amidst this pandemic outbreak without having to spend anything out of their own pockets.
  • Deployment of financial wellness programs is also very important to get rid of the stress that comes with money-related issues. A financial wellness program, at this time of crisis, will ensure that your employees have peace of mind when it comes to financial matters. If there is something wrong with the personal finances of some of your employees, a financial wellness program will help them get back on track, financially. They can anyway do without another issue when they have to prepare themselves to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Financial wellness programs are an important part of the overall employee wellbeing. The other two parts include mental health and physical wellness.
  • Provide mental and emotional support, and encourage self-care. Employers need to direct their employees towards resources through which they can stay informed without panicking. There is so much information about the COVID-19 pandemic available through different sources that it could become a tough task to filter it. A lot of the information could create fear and anxiety. Employers can play a role in not only helping their employees choose the right information sources and avoid the unnecessary scare, but also helping them deal with mental issues that could emanate from the fear of the disease or the effects of such a long lockdown. It is very tough to stay inside your home for such a long period. The mental and emotional wellbeing of your employees could easily get stretched beyond limits. You can give them self-care tips or ask them to meditate or practice yoga to calm themselves. You can even go a step further and arrange mental health counselling sessions for your employees.
  • This isn’t the time for lay-offs. The last thing that employees want in such a critical situation is seeing their source of income vanish in thin air. How will they support their families and ensure that they are financially ready to deal with the impending health dangers of coronavirus? The best solution is to allow your employees to work from home. The productivity will definitely take a hit. But, that’s the only practical solution that fits between the two ends – laying-off employees and providing them paid sick leaves. Make sure you have the technology infrastructure ready for remote working. If not then this could be the best time to invest in remote working infrastructure and culture as this could possibly be the future of work.

You might also be interested to read:Government Urges India Inc To Step Forward To Fight Coronavirus


Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going to be easy. Having said that, this is the time that we need to come and work together for the greater good of humanity. You will have to deal with employees that are overly cautious to others who are fearful. You just need to make sure that you respond optimistically. Provide them enough reasons to not be worried. Tell them their jobs are safe and their financial, physical, mental, and emotional needs will be taken care of. This is the time to rise above all prejudices and differences and serve humanity. If every employer looks after its employees, there won’t be too many left for the government and social groups to attend to.

Reference: “Health, Wellness and Leave Benefits Help Employees with Coronavirus” by Stephen Miller on 20th March 2020.

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