NEW DELHI – As Delhi and its surrounding regions grapple with hazardous levels of air pollution, a slew of businesses have initiated proactive measures to protect their employees and combat the ongoing environmental crisis.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) in several areas of the National Capital Region has alarmingly breached the 500 mark, necessitating the closure of primary schools. On November 3, the Anand Vihar region in Delhi recorded an astounding AQI reading of 999, a stark contrast to the threshold level of 150, which is considered unhealthy.
In response to this dire situation, over a dozen prominent companies, including Deloitte, KPMG, Panasonic, BigBasket, BluSmart, Zepto, and CIEL HR Services, have swiftly implemented initiatives aimed at safeguarding their workforce and addressing the escalating crisis, as reported by the Economic Times.
Deloitte, for instance, has offered its employees the flexibility to work remotely when public authorities advise against non-essential outdoor activities. Furthermore, employees experiencing adverse health symptoms are encouraged to avail a “well-being day off,” a distinct leave entitlement separate from their annual leave quota.
Moreover, Deloitte has initiated collaboration with the Haryana government on a project aimed at managing crop residue, with the objective of curbing stubble burning—a major contributor to the winter air pollution crisis.
Ride-sharing firm BluSmart has introduced subsidized rates for its employees to promote eco-friendly transportation solutions.
Panasonic has extended the option for its employees to work remotely in case they feel unwell. The sales team, on the other hand, has been provided with guidance to adopt essential precautions, including the use of masks and maintaining adequate hydration.
Frontline workers, who are compelled to engage in outdoor activities, are furnished with protective masks and have access to medical professionals. For gig workers, the flexibility to take time off is offered if they express concerns about working under hazardous conditions.
Quick commerce startup Zepto has demonstrated its commitment to employee well-being by distributing N95 masks to its delivery riders and ensuring on-call medical support.
MakeMyTrip’s Chief HR Officer, Yuvaraj Srivastava, highlighted the organization’s implicit culture of flexibility, enabling employees to take time off as needed without specific measures being enforced during the current environmental situation.
The collective efforts of these companies underscore a commitment to employee well-being and environmental responsibility, particularly in the face of the ongoing air quality crisis that has enveloped Delhi and its environs.