IBM, Deloitte, AmEx roll out benefits for aged parents and parents-in-law of young employees

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It’s not an unknown fact that centralisation of the best companies in a few cities of India has forced several young working professionals to move out of their hometowns and work tirelessly in stranger cities, which later become their homes.

However, the constant guilt of leaving their parents back home, and worrying about their health takes a toll on their own health as well as productivity, which is why a few reputed companies of India, like IBM, Deloitte and American Express, have recently started giving their employees benefits for aged parents and parents-in-law.

Last month, a special programme called the “Senior Care programme” was launched by IBM India. It helps employees balance work responsibilities with caring for ageing parents and parents-in-law who require their support. Through the programmer, the company offers its employees subsidised rates for non-critical but essential care services, and employees can request for these services online.

Under the programme, the company will be providing escorted pick-up and drop service to elders from hospital/medical centre visits, home health aides or attendant services for 4-12 hour periods as back-up care, home visits by nurses for shots, as well as sample collection for medical tests from residence and delivery of the hard copy of the report.

"There was a growing trend of IBMers having elder care responsibilities along with childcare. We have tie-ups with quality childcare centres across major locations but realised there was nothing towards the needs of the elderly," DP Singh, head-HR, IBM India/South Asia, told ET.
In a short time, the service has picked up, as the authorities have received multiple enquiries and has had a few employees availing the benefits in the first week of the launch itself.

Talking of Deloitte, it was in November last year when the company unveiled its Well Being Programme (WBP). As per the programme, parents and parents-in-law of the employees are provided an avenue to reach out and seek support on financial issues and anxiety-related issues.

"Many among the senior population struggle with a sense of relevance and isolation, besides requiring assistance with medical issues. Some may be diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and have no idea how to deal with it," SV Nathan, senior director and chief talent officer at Deloitte in India, told ET.

"The helpline is akin to a counselling service, but it's also more than that it's an outlet for our employees' parents and parents-in-law to talk about issues they're grappling with and thereby be able to reach out and ask for help," he added.

American Express India, on the other hand, offers a 'Dil-Se' parental care programme for its employees, providing a 24/7 health helpline via an exclusive toll-free number for employees and their parents. This would assist them in the solving emergency and primary medical queries, booking doctors' appointments pan India, and getting health advice from qualified medical practitioners.

"The programme also offers customised preventive and curative healthcare packages, consultation by senior doctors and diagnostics at discounted rates to ensure that wellness remains affordable and easily accessible to employees' parents," Vishpala Reddy, HR head, told ET.

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