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Supporting employees in times of conflict

Thought Leadership // 10/03/2022
~1 min read
BY Barnaby Parr
World Peace Hands

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has plunged Europe into its most deadly inter-state conflict since the end of the Second World War. As the fabric of society crumbles under the pressures of conflict, civilians are often left to bear the brunt of war’s economic fallout, leading to losses of employment, income, social security, and the simple means to support themselves.

A client recently asked Axco if we knew how they could help support their employees in Ukraine. Through ideas and observations gathered from local insights and multinational corporations, with active initiatives in both Ukraine and Russia, we at Axco are in a privileged position to collate practical solutions based on our global knowledge. These will, hopefully, be able to help those in conflict zones and contribute some respite to local employees in the face of war’s brutal outcomes.

Employment may seem trivial in a country overcome by war, but employers allowing annual, unpaid, or compassionate leave feeds into a more comprehensive network of employee assistance, offering enhanced options which reflect the dynamic short and long-term needs arising from conflict for the employee and their families.

Early payment of salary or offering an enhanced payment, provides necessary monetary assistance and recognises the enormous pressures local employees may face. Alongside this, there exists an initiative to waive premiums, including contribution continuance, such as employer payments of medical and PMI co-payments. We have received anecdotal evidence that alternative salary options and additional financial aid are a timely method of reducing financial burden.

Employers' humanitarian efforts can help reduce the human impacts of the war in Ukraine. Housing or shelter to those who have lost their homes or are fleeing the conflict, combined with visa, immigration, and relocation support (be that legal, practical or financial) provides significant relief.

Furthermore, the assisted provision of daily necessities, including food, medicines and hygiene products are measures not too dissimilar to the landscape of employee assistance in some countries. These provisions would help alleviate limited supplies and long queues at pharmacies for simple products that are being reported in Russia and Ukraine.

Although not every option of these select few may not be available or realistic for all employers, supporting those who are experiencing the hardships of war is a challenge we must endeavour to meet.



Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

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