IndiaBulls Forcefully Fires 2000 Employees Via Whatsapp Call; Slashes 50% Salary For Others
Last month, the employees of Indiabulls Housing Finance received a paycut of varying amounts, which was reportedly implemented by the company in order to ‘safeguard jobs’ amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indiabulls Housing Finance’s 2,000 employees received sinister calls on WhatsApp regarding layoffs. Some employees didn’t even receive these calls. They were forced to resign before a deadline of May 31 or be fired.
The employees who weren’t fired were asked to take a 5-50% pay cut.
Read to find out more…
The Story of the ‘Doomsday’ WhatsApp Calls!
The WhatsApp calls ranged from direct terminations to dropping ‘hints’ asking them to look for another job. But most employees feel that their jobs would be lost as the Non-bank financial Company’s (NBFC) salary cycle is around 18th to 19th of every month.
The upset employees of the lender complained that the WhatsApp calls offer end-to-end encryption which gave the company leverage to avoid any possible recording of the calls. Employees also allege that the company did not follow any criteria as to lay off employees.
A manager based in a city in Maharashtra, an employee for more than 4.5 years in the company, on condition of anonymity told ETBFSI, said he received a WhatsApp call hinting to resign. The company hinted with statements such as ‘business is low’, ‘we are closing down branches’ and ‘we have asked many employees to go’, ending with ‘you have time till 31st May to check’. The executives of the company warned that if they did not resign, it could severely hamper their career as they would be fired. However, the employee added that he would not resign until he received official communication on the matter, and has since blocked off the team of executives off Whatsapp.
An assistant manager working at Indiabulls Housing Finance for 2.5 years was a victim to a similar experience. The employee received a call by a Senior Manager who was looped with her reporting manager and an HR executive, asking her to resign. She added that the calls asked them to resign within 15 days. The company pressured her to add a consent note along with her resignation to deduct a certain amount, ranging from 5% to 50%, of her salary on account of COVID-19. Her pleas for a longer notice period of a month or more were ignored and the call was disconnected. She was further owed 5% of her salary, as the NBFC had earlier asked all employees to transfer a part of their pay to the NBFCs e-wallet ‘Dhani’ for unknown reasons.
Similar experiences were narrated by a senior officer of the NBFC from North India, who also received a call from his reporting manager and his superior, asking him to resign on the same day. The employee said, on the condition of anonymity, that he was not offered a notice period as well, and that mails to management seeking further clarity went unanswered.
The fired employees of the NBFC took to Twitter to share their horror stories, tagging the government and their officials in pleas to intervene in the matter.
Indiabulls Housing Finance is the second-largest housing finance company that serves one million of customers.
Last month, along with the pay cuts, the employees were under tremendous stress after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced the three month EMI moratorium relief. The shadow bank seemed to have asked their employees to ensure that their customers do not opt for the relief.
An employee maintaining anonymity said, “Indiabulls did not want to extend the benefit of the RBI moratorium relief to the customer as cash flows would be hit, so we had to make calls to customers saying that the benefit was not beneficial to the customers and that they had to pay their installments as soon as possible.” As a matter of fact, they had to offer a scheme that involved waiver of two EMIs if they took back their request for a moratorium.
What Does Indiabulls Housing Finance Have to Say?
ETBFSI wrote to IndiaBulls Housing Finance to seek clarification on all that we heard from the employees.
An Indiabulls Housing Finance spokesperson said, “The Indiabulls Group employs more than 26,000 people. In FY19-20 itself, we added 7000+ new members. The company typically sees an attrition of 10%-15% of its workforce every 12 months. This is based on performances and the trend of the entire year, not just a couple of months. There are no layoffs other than in the normal course of business due to attrition and as per the trend of the last many months.”