Since 8th November 2016, we have all grappled with the side effects of the demonetization drive. Arguably, the crisis has spared no one but from all the news and social media reports, it seems as if the groups who typically rely on cash (lower income brackets, elderly & the less tech savvy) are impacted by this transition phase the most.
Serpentine queues at banks & ATMs (only few of which are functional) have become a norm. From the looks of it it may take a few more weeks for life to return to normalcy.
How can you and your HR team help?
Here are a few tips that we believe can help alleviate the situation:
- Arrange canteen services on credit: You can discuss with your caterers and come up with a credit plan wherein employees can buy food on credit & have it deducted from salary or settled at a later date once more cash is available to transact with.
- Food coupons: Give employees food coupons that are widely accepted like Sodexo which they can use to buy essential needs. The cost of these can be reduced from salary and doesnt attract income tax for the employee as well (within specified limits)
- Provide adhoc advances to needy employees: You can discuss with your finance team and provide employees with urgent cash requirements with advances (as of today, current account withdrawal limit is set to INR 50,000 per week) with out following the normal process.
- Digital Wallets: If its adoption is not very common in your organization, you can run workshops to show employees the advantages of the digital wallet during this cash starved period.
- Gift Cards: Give advances in the form of prepaid gift cards to employees who dont have a debit or credit card. This way employees can get access to funds easily without putting a burden on your withdrawal limits
- Give scheduled breaks: You can provide all employees scheduled breaks at the workplace during which time, they can go and complete their banking transactions. This can be planned and achieved in consultation with management and managers regarding work schedules and deadlines so that work is not impacted.
During the next few weeks/months we need to help our employees get access to funds to handle their daily needs. This is the need of the hour and it will help build up employee moral and assist our Govt in its battle against black money by reducing Nay Sayers
If you have any suggestions or thoughts to help your employees tide over the current situation, please post your comments.