OYO Hotels & Homes has decided to extend the furlough period of its employees by another 6 months till February-end 2021, the hospitality unicorn said during a town hall meeting on Friday. The company has also provided its employees with an option to voluntarily separate from the company.
As a part of the Voluntary Separation Program (VSP), OYO India will provide its employees with – financial assistance, relaxation on ESOP vesting, health insurance coverage, career transition support amongst other things.
The town hall was addressed by OYO India CEO Rohit Kapoor.
While for employees, who chose to extend their furlough, the company will be providing them with health insurance coverage, financial assistance to support education of their kids and vaccination allowance. Furloughed employees will also be provided support for better career opportunities with OYO’s ‘Project Outreach’ program.
“You can either opt for the Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) or continue the LwLB (leave with limited benefits) period by another 6 months until February 28, 2021. While the choice is yours to make, we request your attention, as there are several elements to the proposal that are important and will help you make an informed decision,” said Kapoor, while addressing the employees on Friday.
The last date for the impacted employees to share their decision with OYO is 11 September 2020.
Earlier in April, OYO India had made the decision to cut salaries, while furloughing staff to save cash, as the travel industry was severely impacted from the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. OYOpreneurs in India, a term the company uses to address its employees, were asked to go on LwLB for four months till August 31, 2020.
Last month, OYO India, as a part of its town hall, told employees that it will be reinstating their salaries in a phased manner. In an earlier interaction with Mint, India CEO Kapoor said that the company has also brought back different operation teams from furlough, as it looks to bring back the business, despite challenges.
“We know it is challenging to hold you back due to a situation that neither you nor we can control or wish away. Given the context, we have created a set of options for all OYOpreneurs on LwLB (Leave with limited benefits) in India to make a decision that is best aligned with your longer-term career goals and financial requirements. This will never measure up to what we would have ideally liked to do, or you would have expected of us — do accept our sincere apologies for the same,” said Kapoor during the town hall.
The hospitality unicorn, which banks heavily on hotel stays and vacation homes, saw its revenue drop by more than 60% from March, in the months of April of May, during the covid-19 pandemic.
While in India, the company’s largest market, OYO’s 18,000 hotel suppliers were struggling to make ends meet, due to the strict lockdown by the Indian government.
“While we are hopeful about recovering, there is sadly no clear visibility on the timelines at this moment. The situation remains uncertain, as the number of ovid-19 cases across India continue to surge and impact consumer behaviour. As a result, hotels are reopening in phases and the recovery is taking much longer than expected. Despite our best efforts, we don’t quite know when our occupancies and revenues will recover to pre-covid levels in India. In such a situation, we do not foresee a lot more roles opening up anytime soon,” added Kapoor in his address today.
For the year ended March 2019, OYO, which is backed by SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed, among others, reported a loss of about $335 million on revenues of $951 million.
Earlier this year, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO Hotels & Homes gave up his full compensation for the year along with other members of the leadership team which gave up parts of their compensation.