IT firm Cognizant on Friday said it will give employees who are at associate level and below in India and the Philippines, an additional payment of 25 percent of base pay for April, in recognition of their extraordinary continuity-of-service efforts amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The move is expected to benefit over 1,30,000 Cognizant employees in India. Cognizant CEO, Brian Humphries in a note to employees said the additional payment will be processed with their April paychecks, and that the company will be reviewing this approach monthly.
Describing the pandemic as one of the biggest shocks to the world in decades, Humphries said that Cognizant, like all global companies, is experiencing the effects of this public health emergency on both the demand and fulfilment sides of its business, from London to Mumbai to Manilla and New York, Financial Express reports.
“Even with all of the preparation and foresight of our crisis management and business continuity teams around the globe, it’s hard to imagine that we — or anyone — could have developed a playbook to anticipate the full impact of COVID-19.
“Yet despite this turbulence, which affects both you and your families, you have risen to the challenge of serving our clients with empathy, initiative, integrity, and courage — all while supporting and uplifting one another,” he said thanking employees for their “daily acts of heroic leadership”.
Noting the efforts by various nations to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — the nationwide 21-day lockdown announced by India, and state of national emergency in the Philippines, Cognizant CEO said, “We support these and other efforts by governments across the world to flatten the curve and contain the spread of COVID-19”.
“While the pandemic will likely dampen industry demand, we know the requirement for fulfilment remains critical. So we quickly sought to enable work from home to ensure employee health and safety, and to maintain continuity of service for our clients, while absolutely safeguarding their data and protecting access to their systems,” he said.
The company said that over the past few weeks, it has enabled majority of offshore delivery teams to work from home by provisioning new laptops and encrypting desktops and moving them to employee homes, as well as by providing for additional bandwidth connectivity and other requirements, with client permissions and security protocols in place.
“In recognition of the extraordinary continuity-of-service efforts of our associates in India and the Philippines, and as a tangible sign of our gratitude for their perseverance, we will provide those at the associate level and below with an additional payment of 25 per cent of their base pay for the month of April,” he said.
The company had 2,03,700 employees in India as on December 2019 and two-thirds of them (over 1,30,000 employees) are expected to benefit from the latest move. The company said it is formalising corporate social responsibility commitments to continue to support programs that can help society navigate this difficult period.