“Offices in parts of Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi-NCR and Bengaluru have been advised to put in place and execute contingency plans at the earliest, including work-from- home arrangements," an ITC spokesperson told Business Standard.
Locations, where ITC has asked its employees to work from home, include regions which are the worst affected by the coronavirus
outbreak. So far, among the 130 affected with the highly infectious virus, 39 were reported from Maharashtra alone, followed by 13 cases in Uttar Pradesh and another seven in Delhi NCR.
Eight cases have been reported from Karnataka, and the other ones are spread across Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Punjab. So far, West Bengal, after screening 324,000 people, has not reported a single positive case. ITC is headquartered in West Bengal.
ITC has more than 27,000 employees.
However, employees of its Kolkata office are attending work but no outsiders are allowed to enter the office premises for the time being.
“External visitors who are not employees of ITC will not be permitted to enter the premises as a precautionarty measure. Teleconferencing and video conferencing are being encouraged as much as possible," the spokesperson said.
A travel advisory has been issued under which no international travel is permitted for official reasons till further notice and domestic travel is being limited to essential. Hand rub dispensers have been made available in prominent places around the workplace.
The decision follows ITC issuing a special advisory to businesses which provides specific guidelines for business related requirements. Business continuity plans are being put in place to address any potential contingencies and for social distancing. All businesses have been advised to set up a Core Contingency Management Team.
“We are continuously monitoring the situation across all locations and are moving towards a state of preparedness to address any exigency as the health and safety of our entire workforce including salesmen and factory workers is of paramount importance," the spokesperson said.
The preventive measures are founded primarily on social distancing, personal hygiene, workplace and home hygiene and in the event of associated symptoms quarantining one-self and consulting a doctor at the earliest.
Sources said ITC is prioritizing that its supply and distribution chain remains unaffected at a time when there is a likely scarcity of available workforce in logisitics owing to the coronavirus
Earlier, HUL had asked its 4000 office employees globally to work from home and also advised field sales employees to connect with customers virtually.