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Deccan Chronicle: Corporate sector leads way in implementing new maternity bill

Chennai: After the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) bill 2016 was passed in the Lok Sabha recently, the corporate sector is all set to align their internal policies accordingly.

While a few of them already possess a comprehensive maternity policy, corporates are also holding talks with the experts to strengthen it, a move that would enhance the comfort and confidence levels of new moms.

Niyati Anand, a 30-year-old, an employee from Tesco Bengaluru, who is now a beneficiary of the company’s maternity policy, is rejoicing in being able to spend stress-free time with her one-month-old son.

Tesco Bengaluru would be making the necessary changes to the existing maternity leave policy, which entails 22 weeks of paid maternity leaves and 10 days of paternity leaves

Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Niyati said, “Maternity policy is an asset. Being a working woman, the element of ‘job security’ is taken care of, by the company. I am now enjoying the personal space in my life.”

“Two months before resuming the work in the company, we should inform them so that the management finds the apt role,” she mentioned. “When it comes to parenting, we want new parents have the best possible care and feel fully supported so that they can enjoy this significant phase of their lives. Other benefits include increased maternity cover of Rs 40-50,000 for normal delivery, Rs 50-60,000 for C-section, and infertility treatment covered up to Rs 20,000,” said Krity Sharma, Head–People, Tesco Bengaluru.

Similarly, another multi national company, PayPal, had recently enhanced care giving paid leave policies for its employees, as it doubles the current maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks and paternity leave from 5 to 10 days. The company has also introduced paid adoption leave of 16 weeks for its female employees, while the paternity policy has been adjusted to include adoption leave within its mandate.

“PayPal’s enhanced childcare leave policy, introduced earlier this year gives us the opportunity to spend more time with our children and transition back to work smoothly. PayPal also offers various other facilities like cab rides to and from the office for pregnant women  on-site visits by gynaecologists, both of which were especially helpful for me,” said Deepa Vijayaraghavan, Sr. manager, Global Operations PMO, PayPal

Welcoming the progressive moves by the corporates, advocate of Madras High Court, N. Lalitha said, “Though sanctioning six months of paid leave is mandatory, it is still not allowed in many government offices. Women friendly initiatives by the corporates should be a path changer for many.”