While in the global world, most companies have opted for ‘female-friendly’ policies, the Indian companies have also joined the bandwagon in recent years. Companies have started understanding the incomparable value of a woman of experience and talent, and why she is an essential requirement for both the organization and the family.
Here is a list of some of the best-known Indian companies who have broken the traditional working norms and adopting new policy measures and offering maternity allowances for the benefit of expectant and new mothers, helping the working mothers as a whole:
Citibank has rolled out an excellent policy for its female employees recently. The company offers a child-care allowance of Rs. 1.32 lakh per annum to its female employees. This allowance is for four years after the child birth and for 4 children. The policy was adopted to encourage more and more women employees of II-tier cities to join back.
Another leading company for favorable maternity policies is Google. It provides 5 months paid maternity leave, which also includes salary, bonus and stock. Google also has a leave policy provision for parents who adopt, surrogate and even for same-sex couples. It empowers its women employees by supporting employee resource groups like Women@Google, in which it has created the right environments, programs and policies to support women in pursuing their dreams.
Accenture provides flexible working hours to both its full-time and part-time working ladies. It is the first company among the consultation service companies to provide 22 weeks of paid leave for its working mothers. There is also the provision of extending leaves up to 9 months (without pay) if the baby needs more time of the mother. There is also maternity returnee’s program, parents-at-work program and several other workshops and maternity counseling organized time-to-time for the benefit of female employees.
HSBC India has allowed its female employees to club their Privileged Leave (PL) with their regular Maternity Leave (ML) of 3 months. This can be extended up to 4 months as leave without pay, with the permission of business head. New mothers can return to work after leave immediately as they are provided with provisions of working part-time i.e. only for 4.5 hours per day. HSBC India allows its female employees who are new mothers to work in the office for 6 hours and the remaining 3 hours from home. This is valid for 3 months after returning from the maternity leave.
Considering the fact that leaving the newborn back at home is the most difficult situation for most new mothers, the tech start-up InMobi introduced a ‘flexi maternity leave’ benefit. The idea is to help a new mother to adjust to her dual roles of managing both baby and work, so that she can eventually be comfortable with work life. The flexi maternity leave is for six months. The flexi maternity leave benefit includes 4 months full paid leave, followed by half-day paid leave, along with work-from-home facility for up to six months. The maternity coverage of Rs 75,000 continues.
This financial company has a comprehensive maternity policy, which is supposed to one of the best policies in the country India and even globally. The company provides a 26-week maternity leave. New mothers can opt for a 6-month sabbatical, post the maternity leave. It also has its “BB Cares” initiative which provides an extra 30 minutes break during the day to expectant mothers. Expectant mothers are also provided comfortable options like footstools to make them feel more comfortable while working.
Pricewater House Coopers
This consultant company grants women an ‘umbilical cord’ of up to 7 years or so, which has the advantageous benefit of letting the women employees be on the rolls of the company without actively working and without pay.
ICICI also follows the 6-month maternity leave policy, along with the program “iWork@home”. This is a first-of-its-kind program, especially in the banking sector, to allow women to work from home for a year. Here, the women employee enjoys the same environment as in the office by providing employees access to their work applications. Another policy adopted by ICICI for women managers who travel on work purpose is the provision of covering the travel and stay of young children and their caretakers as well. This will help women employees to pursue their careers as well as attending to the needs of their families efficiently.
Microsoft India has also followed the 6-months maternity leave. Plus, it has offered unpaid leave for up to 3 months and flexible work arrangements for up to 2 years for its new mothers. This is available for mothers with adopted children too.
State Bank of India announced that all its female employees will be eligible for 6 months maternity leave and 1 year paid leave for any occasion.
The telecom operator Bharti Airtel besides increasing maternity leave for female employees from 12 weeks to 22 weeks, also has modern-day care facilities for children in its Gurgaon office. The company’s objective policy clearly states that it world always work towards providing adequate support to employees to maintain their balance in their role as parents as well as professionals with commitments at work. In case of adopted children, if the child’s age is less than 2 years, women employees can take 3 months of leave, and if the age is above 2 years, they can avail 6 weeks of leave. Male employees can take one week off in both cases.
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