Ecommerce companies Amazon, Flipkart, Swiggy and Zomato, among others, have begun offering insurance cover and income protection plans for their delivery workforce, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the delivery workers of ecommerce stores, the nature of their duties leaves them more prone to contracting the virus. The ecommerce companies realise the potency of the risks associated with the delivery of goods and services and have made arrangements to safeguard their delivery workforce against a possible loss of revenue.
Both Flipkart and Amazon have insured their employees under the Employee State Insurance Scheme (ESIC).
Flipkart offers a term-life cover of INR 3 lakh for contract employees, apart from the medical and accident cover of up to INR 3 lakh and INR 5 lakh respectively. Additionally, the company has committed to providing a Covid-19 lumpsum cover of up to INR 50,000 to employees who test positive for the virus.
Amazon has launched a $25 Mn Amazon Relief Fund, to be utilised by those who are part of Amazon’s Delivery Service Partner Program, said the spokesperson. The company is also looking to provide a two-week paid leave for its employees and contract workers who test positive for the virus.
Popular online food delivery companies Zomato and Swiggy have also been offering delivery executives and employees covid-19 insurance.
A Zomato spokesperson told Mint, “We have 4,000 employees and about 2 lakh delivery partners. All our on-roll employees are covered for Covid-19 under the plan which is designed in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. Through our Delivery Partner Insurance Plan in partnership with Acko General Insurance Ltd, we provide accidental and medical insurance to our delivery partners. Additionally, we also cover lost earnings in case they are infected by Covid-19.”
Similar arrangements have also been made by online grocery store BigBasket, which has insured its frontline delivery workers and on-roll employees.
The move by ecommerce firms comes at a time when Covid-19 cases continue to surge in India, recently hitting the 10 lakh or 1 Mn cases mark. As of today (July 20), there are 1.12 Mn cases of coronavirus in India, of which, 700,000 have recovered while there have been 27,947 deaths. India is the third-worst pandemic affected country, behind Brazil and the US.
While ecommerce firms witnessed a loss in demand during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, since only the delivery of essential products was permitted, they’ve lately witnessed a spike in deliveries due to what many are calling ‘pent-up’ demand.
In June, the Indian ecommerce sector had recovered 90% of its pre-lockdown volume according to SaaS e-commerce platform Unicommerce. While the recovery has largely been led by electronic products, the fashion sector has also recovered 70% of its pre-lockdown volume of sales.