Cognizant ups salaries by 25% for some India employees amid lockdown

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp will pay an extra 25% of basic compensation to some employees in India and the Philippines as the majority of its offshore workforce works from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, taking on a job extra, CEO Brian Humphries said.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the country's 1.3 billion people to stay indoors for three weeks in the biggest blockade of all places, closing Asia's third largest economy and leaving millions economically vulnerable. Without work.

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The Philippine Congress earlier this week gave President Rodrigo Duterte extra emergency powers in an attempt to avoid chaos due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. It was also the first country in Southeast Asia to adopt blocking measures.

“We are all dealing with a crisis that brings new challenges every day. Even with all the preparation and foresight … it is hard to imagine that we or anyone could have developed a manual to anticipate the full impact of COVID-19, "Humphries said in an email to employees seen by Reuters.

In India, where the New Jersey-based company employs some 203,700 workers, the blockade has brought many to life in chaos as access to groceries and other basic items has become difficult.

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“I appreciate that many of you are working extremely long days, even on weekends. Some of you have devoted almost all of your personal time to helping clients and colleagues, ”said Humphries, adding that the extra payment will be processed with the April salary.

Employees up to an associate level will be eligible for the extra payment.

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India's huge outsourcing sector is struggling with the work at home scenario, caught by surprise as companies try to discover business continuity plans.

Cognizant, which in India, allowed work on domestic operations, provisioning new laptops and encrypting desktops for employees, as well as providing additional bandwidth connectivity.

The additional payment will cover more than two-thirds of the India-based workforce.

"(The company) is experiencing the effects of this public health emergency, both on the demand side and serving our business, from London to Mumbai, Manila and New York," said Humphries.

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Reporting by Chris Thomas and Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru, edited by Nick Zieminski

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