Studies reveal that women are forced to give up their careers during maternity, and the only way to retain talent is to offer flexibility
With a paid maternity leave of seven months in addition to 18 months of half pay-half working day post-maternity support, Tata Sons joins India Inc. in making workplaces more women-friendly.
Focus on diversity has lately picked up pace, and gender diversity has taken the lead. Organisations are making significant changes in their policies to accommodate the special requirements of their women staff.
Following in the footsteps of other corporates, such as Vodafone, Microsoft, Citibank, Intel and Accenture , Tata Sons has also announced a whole lot of woman-friendly policies.
These include paid maternity leave of seven months, in addition to 18 months of half pay-half working day post-maternity support, flexibility to choose work hours, secure performance ratings during the maternity leave and flexible work duration.
If required, as a care-giver at home, an employee can also avail one year’s leave at half pay, provided she/he has completed five years at work. This is a new addition to the list of policies adopted by Indian corporates.
A truly great move, considering the fact that studies have shown that most women step out of their budding careers during maternity, and the only way to retain talent at this stage is through flexibility. The new policy is, however, only rolled out at Tata Sons for now. The others in the Tata Group might benefit from the same a little later.
What makes Tata Sons’ new maternity policy different from the herd is that it has a solution for each stage pre and post maternity. It also takes care of smooth career progression through a planned performance rating system, based on previous performance.
According to the official statement, this move intends to show deep care and organisational commitment towards women employees. It will enable them to manage the critical period of their kid’s early childhood effectively.
From this month onwards, women employees at Tata Sons can take a seven-month long maternity leave with full pay. They also have the option of taking this leave two months before child birth. Beyond this period, women can work from home at flexi-hours for 18 months. Those who choose to work half day can do that with half pay or can decide to work full time with a flexible work arrangement.
In addition, those who have completed five years in service can avail another benefit of taking leave for up to a year for child care or elder care. This leave can be taken at one go or in instalments of maximum six times, for a minimum of two months. The compensation during this period will be half of the last drawn CTC.
Such policies ensure that women employees stay on, even after the crucial maternity period. They also reveal how an organisation understands and values its women employees.
It’s true that the list of companies providing extended maternity benefits is getting longer, but the list of companies which need to make amends, is even longer.