After facing flak from the industry, Cheil India defends itself

At a time when organisations are doing their best to ensure the safety and well-being of their work force amid the pandemic times, Cheil India finds itself in the middle of a storm for allegedly defying the COVID-19 protocols.

The controversy started when two of Cheil India’s employees passed away recently after getting infected with COVID-19. It is now known that employees of Cheil India have been working for full hours since May 2020. At a time when agencies have curtailed their workforce in offices to a bare minimum, with majority of the people working from home, this news has come as a shocker for the industry.

Reacting to the death of the two Cheil staff, some former employees have come out to heavily criticise the working conditions at the agency.

Commenting on this incident, Nirmal Kumar, an ex-employee of Cheil India, took to social media to state, “Cheil India, your priority was never ‘us’ – from biased workplace to harassment by clients and expats. Every ex-Cheil India employee will agree on this. Three lives lost because they were busy making designs for TV/ fridge/ mobile. What a sad story. I wish someone files a police case and sues the so-called management. Many of us will not speak because we still need better ‘activities’ on #linkedin and no employer will give us a job and that’s so cruel.” (sic)

Giving her point of view, Mahima Chhabra, another ex-employee of Cheil India, recalled, “I remember working at Cheil India and struggling with my mental and physical health because of the unusual working hours and my seniors didn’t even bother to at least hear me out. Speaking from my own experience, Cheil India is definitely not a good place to work. These people think they’ve bought employees. All they care about is their business. Kindly do not make overworking employees a norm or practice. It’s not alright anywhere in the world. It is just inhuman.” (sic)

Meanwhile, Cheil India has emphatically denied all the allegations in a statement issue, where it said that its offices were operating at 40-45 per cent capacity in January 2021, with all safety measures in place, and had shifted to complete work from home model from the beginning of April 2021.

“Cheil India has been following all government protocols and safety guidelines since the onset of Pandemic last year. We started with 10% capacity last year. We have constantly been amending our Work from Office policies and ensuring the complete safety of all our employees at the workplace. From weekly tests for all our employees to maintaining complete social distancing, from sanitization of our office on regular intervals to following all safety and hygiene measures, we were adhering to all the government laid guidelines. We were operating at 40-45% capacity in January 2021 and completely shifted to work from home model beginning April 2021,” the agency stated.

Cheil India further said, “India’s COVID-19 crisis has been beyond heartbreaking. No company was immune to the ravage of COVID-19. We recently lost two of our employees to COVID-19. It has been a very tragic and unfortunate time for all of us but we have been standing by our employees all throughout. Amid this tough time, we are working round the clock to provide necessary medical aid and support the mental wellbeing of our people. For us, our employees are our priority.”


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