In an attempt at pruning its workforce, Ashok Leyland (ALL) on Friday announced a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) for its executive cadre, making 5,700 eligible to opt for the plan. Executives who have completed as little as one year can opt for the VRS.
NV Balachandar, president, HR, CSR and communication, ALL, told FE the objective of the VRS is to scale down the team, bring in efficiency and ensure executives do more value-added work. “This time we have kept it eligible for all executive employees who have completed at least a year of service. Normally, we look at high-tenured employees, but this time we have spread it across, so that even people who have completed few years of service can avail the VRS,” he said.
As per the scheme, except shop-floor employees, all categories of employees can opt for the package. Refusing to divulge the contours of the VRS package and the total outgo, he said it will be linked to the number of years the employees had put in.
ALL has a total of 11,643 permanent employees on its rolls as per its annual report 2020. The company had run a VRS two years ago. Balachandar said the scheme will help the company create a more cost-effective and efficient organisational structure. The current landscape of the global pandemic provides scope for people to pursue flexible career opportunities and this will provide a window for the same. There have been many requests from the employees for early retirement, and this scheme provides them with a viable exit, he said.
The VRS will be implemented over a period of nine months at the company’s offices and factory locations.
Meanwhile, ALL informed the stock exchanges that it has incorporated a company called Vishwa Buses and Coaches (VBCL) to carry on the business of bus body and coaches building with an authorised and paid-up share capital of Rs 60 crore.
Besides, the company said consequent to the conversion of loans by Hinduja Automotive, UK, into equity shares in Optare PLC, its British bus-making subsidiary, ALL’s stake in Optare stands reduced from 99.24% to 91.63%.
The company recently said its Hosur plant, which primarily makes light commercial vehicles (LCVs), has come back to the pre-Covid levels.
With demand getting increased month-on-month, the plant’s capacity utilisation would go upwards of 90% soon. The other plants at Ennore and Pant Nagar that cater to the M&HCV segment have also been getting to higher utilisation levels but at a slower pace.