Furloughed OYO employees protest, seek additional compensation on social media

Furloughed OYO employees protest, seek additional compensation on social media
Photo Credit: VCCircle
25 Sep, 2020

A set of furloughed OYO employees have taken to social media to protest the company’s alleged failure to adequately compensate its staffers. 

Under the account ‘Justice For Oyo Employees’ on Twitter and Facebook, the employees have sought additional compensation from OYO against their jobs. Several other user accounts engaged with support.



Earlier this month, the Gurugram-based budget hotels operator extended the furlough period for a section of its employees till February 2021. The employees were presented with two options -- to either continue with a leave with limited benefits (LwLB) till February 2021, or voluntarily exit.

OYO began sending termination letters to employees who had not chosen either of the options on Tuesday, the protesting employees told TechCircle, adding that they had reached out to the company for additional compensation but the company did not “listen”.

“OYO is just saying that due to Covid-19, business is in loss. But appraisal, promotions, five days working are going on. Salary restoration also got applied,” Justice For Oyo Employees told TechCircle. It added that it was representing a group of 200 members who demanded “right compensation,” and that a total of 2,000 employees were furloughed.

After OYO partially reopened for business in India on June 8, its occupancy levels were at 30% of pre-Covid-19 levels, it said three weeks ago, adding that a “small but encouraging green shoot” enabled the company to call back some impacted colleagues in different teams and geographies, as limited opportunities opened up.

Another furloughed employee told TechCircle on Friday that a “HR head” gave him a two-hour window to choose an LwLB option or be terminated the next day with no relieving letter. The HR allegedly refused to send the employee an email on the same.

“We iterated our stand for three months compensation plus gratuity to be paid out, which was done when OYO terminated one third of the employees back in March. This was nothing less of termination. We have been constantly denied our rights and now they have built a strong legal team. I am speaking on behalf of sole earning members and single parents,” the employee said.

In response to TechCircle’s query on the matter, OYO said that it had responded to every email received from employees on LwLB. For the 2% of employees that did not choose an option, the company invoked separation by providing notice period pay “as per legal employment contract,” OYO added.

“We would like to confirm that almost 98% of our employees on LwLB have accepted one of the two options. Out of this, about 70% have opted for a voluntary separation package, with the rest 28% have opted for the extension of the LwLB, and only 2% are yet to accept either of the two options,” Dinesh Ramamurthi, chief human resources officer at OYO, said.

The Economic Times first reported the development on Thursday.

In late April, the SoftBank-backed firm announced a blanket 25% pay cut in the fixed component of salary for all its India employees. The company did not disclose its total workforce count.

In August, OYO said it would restore full salaries of its India employees in phases until December 2020, in a reversal that affected as much as 60% of its workforce across India and South Asia in the first phase.

OYO is also starting to see signs of recovery in Europe, with its vacation homes business, as well as in the United States and other markets, a spokesperson had told TechCircle earlier this month.