Bengaluru: E-commerce company Udaan has reportedly laid off several of its employees amidst the lockdown without giving them a notice period.
According to a report by News18, the employees were laid off on April 24, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked industry leaders not to sack their people during the lockdown.
News18 reported that the employees who were sacked were contract workers and were on the payroll of several consultancy firms.
In view of the developments, a group of employees who were terminated have filed a petition at the Bellandur Police Station. The same was forwarded to the labour department and the matter is being looked into.
A former employee told News18 that they received an email from the HR telling then that they are being "terminated due to business challenges" and that they were not given a notice period.
Another employee said that the company had asked them to stay back when the lockdown was announced and assured them that they would be taken care of. "We don't hav money, can't pay rent and can't go home. What do we do?" she asked.
Responding to the layoffs, Udaan said that they had no choice but tp restructure their teams, making some roles redundant.
They clarified that all the employees who had been laid off have been provided with additional compensation for one month. Additionally, the company assured that the former employees will be part of the "priority hiring list". "...they would be given preference to join us when a relevant opportunity exists within the system," a statement from the company read.
They also stated that they will be giving recommendation letters and support wherever possible.
"Additionally, associates who are covered under the group medical insurance scheme will continue to get medical insurance benefit for an additional period of 3 months," the statement added.
The company has, however, not specified the total number of employees that were terminated or even if permanent employees were also shown the door.
One of the consultancy firms, Teamlease holds that they have "followed all necessary provisions of the law and adhered to the advisories of labour officials ensuring there is no cessation of employment during the lockdown and all statutory dues have been/are being paid and statutory deduction have been remitted to their social security accounts to ensure they can make use of the benefits."
They add that they are also "extending the option of online skill upgradation as well as redeployment options to candidates in distress based on the available openings during the COVID lockdown scenario".
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