With the outbreak spreading beyond China’s border, the company has constituted a team to monitor and initiate actions to reduce risk to employees. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Tata Motors has asked its staff in office-based roles at headquarters and regional offices to work from home with effect from Monday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an internal memo by the company’s Managing Director and CEO Guenter Butschek to its employees. With the outbreak spreading beyond China’s border, the company has constituted a team to monitor and initiate actions to reduce risk to employees and has developed a three-tier response plan based on incidence of infection in cities it operates it or has manufacturing sites.
In a slew of measures, Tata Motors has suspended international travel for employees and domestic travel involving public transport (air, rail or road) is made subject to approval, while biometric attendance system has been replaced by card swiping.
Moreover, meetings or classes involving more than 20 people have been suspended, while pregnant ladies and employees with chronic respiratory and cardiac illness have also been advised to work from home, while distance between seats in canteens has been increased and staggered/extended timings have been introduced by the company as part of measures to prevent coronavirus infection.
In his letter to employees, Butschek said with coronavirus being declared a pandemic by the WHO and its spread in India accelerating, “in the light of these developments and in line with broad global consensus that as a community, we need to act early and social distancing will help break the contagion and help us get ahead of the virus...”
Stating that the company is announcing “additional measures to prepare the organisation for the next level of response”, he said,”These temporary measures will be based on your role/function/sire and will stay in force till further notice.”
As part of the measures, he said, “Employees in office-based roles, including third party staff in company HQ, sales, marketing HQ, in enabling functions in regional offices and purchase team based in Pune will work from home effective Monday, 16th March. They are expected to remain connected and participate in all official engagements remotely during working hours,” Butschek said.
Employees in manufacturing, supply chain, quality, ERC, and warehouses across the country will continue to operate with strict adherence to the company’s safety guideline, he added.
Butschek further said instructed employees in areas such as sales, service, supplier quality and product line to connect with its external partners and colleagues in the organisation virtually wherever possible.
“If field visit is necessary, reach out to your local administration team to leverage pool cars and avoid using public transport,” he said, adding handshakes must be avoided while adhering to other personal hygiene practices.
Butschek also said Tata Motors is also actively exploring work from home option for employees in roles that can be remotely performed at its global delivery centre at Pune.
Terming the coronavirus pandemic as an “unprecedented situation” Butschek said, “We will review risks and mitigation measures on a daily basis and depending on how things evolve, will dial up/down these measures.”