Food delivery major, Swiggy, announced its new childcare and parenthood policies keeping in mind the journey of parenthood. The policies have been designed to fulfil the diverse needs of the modern parent.
New-age parents today require a lot more flexibility to balance childcare and professional life, and these policies have been crafted keeping in mind just that. Parents juggle family needs, career demands and transitions, while continuing to experience dynamic career opportunities and development.
However, what makes these policies different is that they are inclusive of all parents, whether biological, adoptive same-sex or heterosexual. Taking care to include parenthood in all its different forms, the organisation has taken a positive step towards making the journey of parenthood and child rearing all the more fruitful, and more convenient for the parents.
Girish Menon, VP-HR, Swiggy, says that there were a few things which were factored in while designing the policy. “We tried to work backwards and understand what parents really go through during the journey. Moreover, we wanted to focus on inclusiveness and also on making the experience stress-free for the parent(s).”
The policy entails benefits, such as supporting the primary caregivers be it biological, commissioning or adoptive parents, single parents or LGBTQ+ parents. Swiggy has designed policies to support parents throughout the full journey of adoption, fertility care and surrogacy.
The policies are focussed on gender neutrality, and thereby, parents are termed as primary and secondary caregivers depending upon whoever wants to take up either role. The primary caregiver can avail 26 weeks of paid leave as mandated by the law, while the secondary care-giver is allowed 15 days of leave, irrespective of gender and sexuality.
We tried to work backwards and understand what a parent really goes through during the journey, and make it inclusive as well as stress-free for the parent.
The Company has collaborated with service providers around its campus for parents to avail creche facilities. On site, Swiggy has other benefits, such as ergonomic seating and reserved parking space for the parents.
During the parenthood journey, there may emerge situations requiring employees to travel for work. In such cases, taking care of the child presents a big worry for the parents. To ensure that employees can focus on their work and be productive without having to undergo stress and worry for the child, Swiggy offers support for domestic travel as well. While travelling, parents are allowed to take their child with them along with an additional caregiver. The employees are allowed to avail travel reimbursements for the same from the Company.
Nowadays there are a plethora of wellness sessions and services that people can sign up for, for help and guidance their through the journey of pregnancy and childcare. Swiggy encourages its employees to make full use of such services and provides reimbursements for them as well.
Moreover, pregnant employees have the option to avail transportation service during their last trimester, to travel to and from office.
Not only are employees allowed to avail a bonding leave of up to 15 days, they are offered the flexibility to use them as per their convenience. Initially, they can use these to avail half-day leaves and go home to their child, if they so wish.
For adoptive parents, the Company provides support right from fertility care and surrogacy, to going through medical and legal procedures. They are also allowed five days of leave in a year to fulfill all other obligations including legal.
During the parenthood journey, there are other challenges, which can come up for parents or expectant parents, which can present difficult moments in their lives. Unforeseen circumstances may arise, such as miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy. For such cases, Swiggy provides six weeks of miscarriage leave for the primary partner and one week of leave is available for the partners, who support their spouses during this hard time.
One of the challenges that employees face is how to have that conversation with their managers about taking time off during a pregnancy or while going through the adoption process.
To ensure that employees and managers are sensitised to the situation, the Company has issued a series of guides to everyone on campus. These guides list the do’s and don’ts of interacting with an employee about to embark on the journey to being a parent.
Yamini Koganti, head-compensation and benefits, Swiggy, explains, “Employees are worried about showing their pregnancy during the first trimester, unsure of how the line manager will react. Such guides are useful to help managers take a more sensitive approach.” Koganti has been pivotal in designing the parenthood and childcare policies at Swiggy from the ground-up.
During the time when primary caregivers are returning to work, they may need to take some time to settle in and be as productive as they were before. To stop employees from worrying about their performance and give them time to get back into the game, Swiggy has designed a policy to ensure that only the last performance review of the returning employees is taken into consideration again, for the ‘settling in’ period.
The policies are reserved only for in-office Swiggy employees and have not been extended to the delivery partners.