The changes include termination of the probationary period and sandwich leave, and introduction of bereavement, paternity and adoption leaves.
The real-estate division of Times Internet, Magicbricks, has revamped its people policies to ensure an employee-friendly workplace. This Times Group company, has emerged from the shackles of certain age-old practices, by introducing some new policies aimed at enhancing their work–life balance, much to the delight of its people. The changes include, termination of the probationary period and sandwich leave and introduction of three new leaves—bereavement, paternity and adoption.
Anil Misra, CHRO, Magicbricks, shares that the changes were announced at the end of July this year, and have been effective since August 1. Cessation of the probationary period has been a commendable move as most of the companies in the industry still follow the practice. However, Misra says, “Putting all our hires on a six-month probation period was sending out a wrong message. In order for our employees to believe that we trust our hiring process, we had to do away with the concept of putting people on probation.”
He also shares that earlier Magicbricks employees, who were on probation, were treated differently, with different pay and leave structures, and so on. This kind of discrimination was leading to job insecurity for the new joinees, and hence, it was crucial to abolish the probation period to bring about a sense of equality.
Misra says, “The move is in line with our endeavour to make Magicbricks a great place to work and also seek competitive advantage from a people standpoint.” The decision to do away with the probationary period will certainly go a long way in breaking the misconceptions regarding working in the online real-estate sector. In addition, it is a remarkable step towards strengthening the employer brand.
That is not all—the employees at Magicbricks have more to rejoice. The Company has also done away with the concept of sandwich leave, that is, the practice of deducting even weekly off days or holidays, in case they fell in between the leave period applied for. For instance, a genuine leave of two days, say a Friday and the following Monday, would be counted as four days of leave including the Saturday and Sunday in between! However, Misra has now put an end to this policy encouraging people to utilise their holidays well.
In addition, the Company has now introduced paternity, adoption and bereavement leaves as well. Although, these may not be something new, it is hard to imagine a company without them in the current times. The paternity leave is for five days and even adoptive fathers are now entitled to a week’s paid leave for a child below three months, while new adoptive mothers can take three months’ leave.
Placing its fingers on the pulse of its people and letting them know that the organisation cares for them, Magicbricks has also introduced a bereavement leave. In case of death of a direct family member (parents, spouse, children, siblings, grandparents or inlaws), an employee can take up to five days off.
“The changes are all meant to stay competitive and contemporary, and ensure a people-friendly workplace,” Misra concludes. With the new leaves in place, the total number of leaves an employee is now entitled to equals 40 in a year.
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Probation Period is right to make recruitment mistakes, and terminate employment with no notice during the probation period, with no leave facility etc a form of slavery, which Abraham Lincoln had abolished.
Hope, now management will give 1-2 months termination notice if need be, after constructive performance dialogues and opportunity to perform., except in cases of gross criminal misconduct. Employees too once having joined will not be able to jump out with 24 hours notice.
May also feel more secured, committed, engaged with long-term view from day one, ready to shift their families etc if need be.
Hope this has been preceded by training for talent selection and Mentorship-coaching skills to all Managers-Supervisors.
Double filtration of candidates by two interview panels can improve selection, avoiding haste and mistakes – qualifications and experience being supplemented with vision in selection, enhancing managerial accountability for selection and retention.
hr consultant and leadership coach