October 23, 2021

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E-com and logistic firms hike salaries of delivery staff to double to meet demand

The second wave of coronavirus has resulted in severe manpower crunch for e-commerce and logistics sector. As a result, companies are offering hefty increments, incentives and perks to retain manpower and hire more people.

According to a report in the Economic Times, Amazon, Flipkart, Grofers, Shadowfax and Ecom Express have hiked payouts to delivery staff up to double the previous levels to meet demand.

Industry estimates suggest delivery staff has nearly halved in some cases owing to high rates of infection given the nature of their job, which puts them out of work for weeks, reverse migration as someone back home has contracted the infection or because they are afraid of catching the disease.

The business daily citing Grofers mentioned that it is paying up to double the previous salaries to its delivery staff, besides providing meals.

Shadowfax has raised payouts by 10-15% depending on the region, Praharsh Chandra, it’s chief of operations, told ET. It is also providing oxygen concentrators, Covid insurance and access to a Covid helpline to its delivery staff.
Taskmo’s co-founder Prashant Janadri said the firm’s gig delivery staff makes Rs 900-1,500 a day now, up from Rs 700-1,000 earlier.

Similarly, Ecom Express will give its annual increments to delivery staff in the next two weeks, chief human resource officer Saurabh Deep Singla told the publication. These increments will be given at a time when most other sectors have frozen increments.

Worth mentioning here is that most companies have not increased base pay of delivery staff but they are offering benefits like attendance bonus, leave encashment, performance-linked incentives and better joining bonus, the publication mentioned citing Ajoy Thomas, business head (retail, e-Commerce, logistics and transportation) at human resources firm TeamLease Services. In some cases, they are also giving isolation facilities in their unused offices to gig workers and their families, and food and ration kits as well.

Most major companies are covering the cost of vaccination for delivery staff and, in some cases, for their dependents too. Flipkart said it is following stringent standard operating procedures in view of the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, and has extended benefits such as paid leave, medical insurance and medical assistance. An Amazon spokesperson said the company is extending support for vaccination, insurance and finances as well as time off.

Grofers said it has extended counselling services to its delivery staff who might be going through a tough time, as well as options to order medicines online, on-call consultations with doctors and discounted lab tests. Warehouses and delivery centres are operating with less than half the manpower, especially in metros, said Alok Kumar, senior director of sales, account management and global accounts at ManpowerGroup India. Filling up vacant positions has become a huge challenge for staffing companies, especially as demand has increased manifold with companies seeking to keep buffer manpower for contingencies, he said.

Report by Chetali S M
Reported on – 22/05/2021

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