In a bid for an improved work-life balance, a lot of companies are launching employee-friendly policies to promote happier workplaces. Among a lot of these policies, paternity leaves are a recent one that have been received well. The idea is to allow new parents (not just mothers) to spend time with their newborns. This comes with the understanding that the duties of a newborn baby be divided equally among both the parents instead of just resting on the mother.
The government of India already allows 15 days of paid paternity leaves according to the CENTRAL CIVIL SERVICES (LEAVE) RULES, 1972: A male member of the Service (including a probationer) with less than two surviving children, may be granted paternity leave by an authority competent to grant leave for a period of 15 days, during the confinement of his wife for childbirth, i.e. up to 15 days before, or up to six months from the date of delivery of the child.
While 26 weeks of maternity leave is mandated by Indian laws across organisations, no such law exists for new fathers. If you’re wondering which companies in India offer this novel employee benefit, we found you 7 firms with the best policies.
Indian companies that offer paternity leaves
Swedish home furnishing giant Ikea announced 6 months of parental leave for both men and women in 2018. As per this policy, all coworkers including men will be able to avail 6 months of fully paid leave upon childbirth. The policy benefits are also extended to parents planning surrogacy and adoption.
Anna-Carin Månsson, Country HR Manager, IKEA India, in a statement said, “For us the co-workers are no less than a family and it becomes imperative for us to help them through an important phase like this of their lives.”
2. Pfizer india
Leading pharmaceutical firm Pfizer recently announced 12 weeks of paid paternity leave for their employees in India. Done to promote inclusivity and diversity, the benefits of this policy will be applicable starting 2023. The leave can be availed in four tranches over a maximum period of two years. A minimum of two weeks and a maximum of six weeks may be taken in one single tranche.
Shilpi Singh, Director (people experience) in India released a statement: “A progressive policy of this nature is our endeavour to harness the power of equity at the workplace and enable both men and women to invest equal time in essaying their roles and responsibilities as a parent.”
E-commerce company Meesho offers a 30-week gender neutral parental policy in a bid to move away from gender-based differentiation in parenting. The policy covers childbirth, surrogacy, and adoption offering the benefits to men, women, heterogenous or same-sex couples, LGBTQ+ and live-in partners that work at Meesho.
In a statement issued by the company, they said, “Since work is invariably tied to the personal identities of employees, Meesho’s new policies also reflect evolving societal beliefs and ensure non-discriminatory benefits irrespective of employees’ gender or sexual identity.”
Healthcare company Novartis announced 26 weeks of gender-neutral parental leave policy for all their employees. The policy is applicable to birthing and non-birthing parents, as well as to cases of birth, adoption, and surrogacy. Effective 2019, this policy that applies to non-birthing parents has the flexibility of taking leave in one go or two tranches of 13 weeks each within a year of the child’s arrival.
“Having a gender neutral parental policy recognizes the role that both parents play in a changed world and helps both parents build bonds with their new baby”, said Savitha Shivsankar, Country Head People & Organization, Novartis India.
As of 2019, Zomato has been offering 26 weeks of paid paternity leave to all of its employees including new fathers. While the government has mandated this policy for women, Zomato founder wants to extend the same to men along with an endowment of $1000 per child. This is an attempt to prevent imbalance in the corporate sector.
“I believe that young parents should be able to make a choice of how to care for their children. And that a myopic view of primary care-giving not only alienates one half of our workforce, but also creates circumstances that lead to fewer female leaders within organisations, the community and the nation” said Depinder Goyal.
Digital startup OkCredit offers 8 weeks of paid paternity leave to their employees along with 28 weeks of work-from-home for new fathers. The company also offers 32 weeks of maternity leave as opposed to 26 weeks mandated by the government.
After Twitter CEO, Parag Agarwal announced that he was taking a break from work in the form of a paternity leave, OkCredit tweeted “Benefits aren’t a hassle; they are a win-win for everybody. Out of the many benefits of paternity leave, an important one is that it allows new moms to take breaks”
Customer engagement platform Twilio has an array of employee-centric programmes that promote “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion”. In an attempt to foster a better culture, Twilio India offers 12 weeks of paternity leave to all their employees.
Twilio website says, “In India, we are focusing our efforts on gender diversity and developing a long-term strategy to drive inclusion and support for other communities as well.”