Microsoft doubles maternity leave in India

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The move is aimed to boost a healthy and productive work environment as well as emotionally uplift the company’s workforce.

Microsoft India has doubled the maternity leave for its women employees —from three months to six. In addition, the company has also offered the option of availing unpaid leave up to three months, and flexible work arrangements up to two years.

The new maternity policy, which will be effective from February 1, 2016, will also benefit all women employees currently on maternity leave.

Besides, all male employees at Microsoft will be eligible for two weeks of paternity leave.

In case of adoption, the mothers will be eligible for eight calendar weeks of paid leave and the fathers for two weeks of paid leave.

Rohit Thakur, head-HR, Microsoft India, says in an official communique, “We understand how important it is for new mothers to not only be able to spend time with their babies but also be able to transition back to work effectively. The enhancements to our maternity benefits are intended to ensure that our women employees have the time and support they need to embrace this new phase of life.”

Since 2015, Indian companies have been actively extending maternity benefits to their employees. Adobe has extended the maternity leave from the earlier 12 weeks to 26 weeks, which comes to six and a half months.Though many companies, in the recent past, have introduced longer maternity leaves, this is perhaps the longest offered by any company in India.

Vodafone, Accenture, Citibank, Mondelez, Flipkart, Intel, Telenor and Adobe have all extended maternity benefits for their women employees. While Intel increased it to 150 days (five months), Telenor took it up to 180 days (six months). Adobe offers the maximum period of 6.5 months of maternity leaves.

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