Mylan Laboratories India, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of active pharmaceutical ingredients, is committed to looking after its employees until normalisation returns. Right after the lockdown was imposed, it launched a special bonus scheme for its employees in the manufacturing and research and development (R&D) divisions, which has continued till date.
Out of the 35,000 plus strong global workforce, Mylan Labs has around 18,000 plus employees in its India business. Out of the total, around 4000 employees work in the R&D division across five centres and close to 12,000 employees work in the manufacturing plants. The remaining 2000 odd employees work in the corporate office, out of which around 800 work in the sales and marketing division.
“Through our robust IT infrastructure, we have been able to provide all employees the necessary equipment, such as desktops, laptops and internet connectivity, for a smooth transition to remote working.”
The special bonus has been mandated by the organisation for all employees working in the plants and R&D centres. This includes the contractual labour in the plants, who are paid their monthly salary based on their daily attendance. Under the special bonus scheme, employees are paid 50 per cent extra over and above their monthly salaries across levels and functions.
In addition, to ensure that employees need not worry about their financial status during the complete lockdown period, Mylan India moved up the payout date of employees to a week before the usual date, which falls around the last day of the month. The organisation plans to continue this practice as well until normalisation returns.
Beside the bonus, the employees have been receiving their regular salaries, increments and annual bonuses too.
Across its 35 manufacturing units in the country, all workers have been given training on safety and precautionary measures and how to operate in the new normal. Safety kits, including hand gloves, sanitisers and masks have been provided to all. Every two hours there is a PA announcement on the dos and don’ts during operations, in the plants.
Within two to three days of the lockdown, the Company acquired government permission to resume work. Currently, all Mylan plants are operating at 60 per cent capacity with all social distancing norms and hygiene systems in place. All employees are driven to and from their residences in company buses and vans, which are sanitised after every trip. A similar procedure has been followed for the R&D centres as well.
“We have designed the operation in a way that production has not been affected by the decrease in workforce at the plants,” says Udbhav Ganjoo, SVP and head-HR, Mylan Labs India.
In the corporate offices, the management has kept the upper limit for maximum occupation at 30 per cent at one time. All employees are encouraged to work from home as far as possible and need to commute to the office only when their managers deem it necessary.
In the sales and marketing force, around 50 per cent have been mandated to work in the field after being equipped with all necessary precautionary measures, while the rest of them work from home. Every 14 days, there is a rotation and those working from home go out into the field while those on the ground go back to working from home for the next two weeks. The field personnel are required to provide daily updates on where they have been and what their health status is.
In addition, for the sales and marketing staff and those in the plants and R&D centres, the Company has arranged accommodation at nearby hotels and paying guest facilities. For instance, in Bangalore, as the travelling distances are significant, living facilities were set up so that employees need not travel back should they wish not to. This was also done as a precautionary measure, just in case somebody contracted the virus and required isolation for a few days.
The Company has a global IT centre in Bangalore with close to 800 employees, which Ganjoo says, has been instrumental in facilitating their shift to working from home. “Through our robust IT infrastructure, we have been able to provide all employees the necessary equipment, such as desktops, laptops and internet connectivity, for a smooth transition to remote working,” he adds.
This month, the company launched an additional Covid-19 medical insurance coverage for all its employees and their families, over and above the regular health insurance, for a duration of one year.
Amidst all the pressure, Mylan has honoured all commitments made to its new recruits in January and has continued to hire virtually during this time. Till now, around 70 to 80 employees have been hired as management trainees and pharmaceutical trainees.