Khaitan & Co, the Indian full-service law firm, has announced the release of its People Wellbeing Framework in view of the tremendous hardships and stress caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic for the benefits of its lawyers.
The Framework provides for employees to avail certain benefits during such difficult times, as follows:
Sick leaves: Employees can take up to two weeks of sick leave, if their immediate family members have contracted COVID -19 or developed similar complications. It will be treated as a special sick leave and will be an addition to the annual 30-day leave they are entitled to. The immediate family members will include people residing in the same house. The leaves will also benefit those employees who are required to travel to look after parents or an immediate family member in another city. This policy is effective from January 21, 2021.
Recuperation leave: The firm will give two to three days of leave for recuperation purposes when a fee earner has worked to achieve a critical milestone, working extra hours for a prolonged period of time. This is being allowed to ease up on workload.
Switch-off period: As every employee is working from home, there is a very thin line between work hours and personal time. Henceforth, only urgent work will be assigned to the employees during weekends. Apart from that, reasonable and realistic timelines will be given by the partners for an assignment.
Depending on the need, a switch-off period of 24 hours for every week should be provided to all the members, either on a Saturday or on a Sunday. During this time, employees will not be expected to take any calls or respond to any e-mails. It is also recommended that employees reduce responding to calls and e-mails during weekends.
Wellness leave: If employees are facing any kind of mental health issues, such as chronic stress, anxiety, or burnout, they can request for a wellness leave from their respective team leaders. The time period for the leave will be determined after a discussion between the regional/cluster HR head and the respective team leader.
Best practices for communication: It is important that every employee and partner respect each other’s personal time during the course of the workday and other times. They are NOT supposed to call any other employee without prior notice (either through e-mail or message) unless there is an urgent client need or situation. The firm trusts that employees will work in a professional manner to meet client needs.
Wellness engagement: The firm is also organising Small Group Engagement sessions on employee wellness and work-life balance. Anyone can reach out to the HR for any specific requirement relating to individual wellbeing. The team leaders should also set up weekly or frequent catch-up calls with their respective team members.