The leave policy of a company depicts its philosophy. BharatPe’s leave policy revolves around its strategy to support employees in all aspects and milestones of their lives. While some leaves have been in existence for a while now, some have been introduced recently. Let’s see how the new leave policy framework looks like at BharatPe.
Talking to HRKatha, Smriti Handa, CHRO, BharatPe, states that there are so many milestones in the life of an employee — from getting married to having kids and raising and taking care of a family. She points out that till a couple of decades ago, very few companies offered marriage leave. This is one of the leaves that BharatPe offers to its employees.
In fact, BharatPe has a rather interesting set of leaves for its employees, which tries to support its people by covering all major milestones of life.
Marriage leave: The Company really believes that marriage is a very important day or milestone in an employee’s life. Therefore, employees deserve time off to share such happy occasions with their family members and friends.
Parental leave: It has various types of parental leaves that help employees balance work and personal life so that their career does not suffer.
As per the Maternity Act, women employees can avail 26 weeks of maternity leave in case of child birth and 12 weeks of leave in case the employee adopts a child.
The Company’s paternity leave allows the men in the workforce to avail up to eight weeks of paternity leave. These leaves can be availed within a year from the birth of the child.
Employees can avail up to four weeks of leave in case of legal adoption of a child up to the age of 18 years.
“We believe in leaning in and standing by our employees on difficult days as well. So, when our employee is overcoming the mental stress of a bad marriage or loss of a close family member, BharatPe offers marriage separation leave and bereavement leave”
Smriti Handa, CHRO, BharatPe
Separation leave: It is not just in their good times that the employees receive organisational support. The Company supports its employees even during their tough times, such as divorce. BharatPe offers a marriage-separation leave, allowing the employees time to recover and come to terms with the turn their life has taken. “We believe in leaning in and standing by our employees on difficult days as well. So, when our employee is overcoming the mental stress of a bad marriage or loss of a close family member, BharatPe offers marriage separation leave and bereavement leave. This gives employees those few days off when they can focus on themselves to try to get their life in order. This is a way to help employees integrate their personal and professional life,” says Handa.
Just like mental health or menstruation, marriage separation is a subject least discussed, and considered a taboo in Indian society. However, at BharatPe, employees have come forward to take such leaves and have been rather upfront. “We have not faced any specific challenge till now. In fact, people have come up to me expressing their happiness over our decision to have such leaves,” states Handa.
She goes on to add, “When a company makes a policy around some issue or event that is otherwise considered taboo, the hesitation of the employees to discuss the same also vanishes to a great degree, because of the matter being given the form of a formal policy.”
In any case, Handa reveals that the entire process of getting a leave approved is fully automated and all information stays confidential.
Pet leave: Realising that many employees have adopted pets and many wish to keep pets, the Company has recently introduced pet leave benefits too. BharatPe’s pet leave allows employees to avail up to one week of leave in case a new pet is adopted and five leaves in a year in case of demise or if the pet falls ill.
The new leave policy framework was introduced basis the observations made by the HR and HRBP teams regarding the employees’ needs and expectations.
“It’s important to change with changing times. At BharatPe our belief is that in this ever-evolving world, employee needs also evolve and we should be mindful and proactive about them. To create superior Employee Experience, we have launched policies and programs that matter to our employees,” advises Handa.
“One such example is our leave policy that looks at employee life stages ranging from date night to marriage celebration to being a parent (even when planning to be pet parents) to taking care of aging parents to bereavement. This is an attempt to enable mental and social well-being of our employees,” she adds.
Of course, Handa acknowledges and appreciates the support of the management / leadership teams in studying and understanding the requirements of the employees.