Good news! Private sector companies embrace 26-week maternity leave policy with open arms

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Nestle India has even introduced adoption leave for six weeks with full pay and benefits for all permanent women employees and a five-day paternity leave policy for male employees

To-be working mums can rejoice! The private sector has chosen to be ahead of the government and declare a 26-week maternity leave policy for their employees even before the labour ministry has made amends to the Maternity Benefit act.

While Nestle India and Microsoft had declared this policy in the first week of Feb, more and more companies are now jumping on the bandwagon and making a 26-week maternity leave policy for their women employees.

The new companies to join the list are KPMG, Deloitte, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Ersnt & Young.

Nestle India to introduce paternity leave

In fact, Nestle India has gone ahead and even introduced a five-day paternity leave policy with full pay and benefits for it’s male employees. While taking to a popular newspaper on the new steps Nestle India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said, "The increasing ambition to seek diversity means that Nestle is constantly reviewing workplace facilities, enabling measures and pro-active sensitivities to the needs of our women colleagues as they traverse different stages of their lives."

Here are some of the new leave policies which private sector companies are planning to implement.

  • Adoption Leave: Nestle India has even introduced adoption leave for six weeks with full pay and benefits for all permanent women employees.
  • Flexible work arrangements: Even Microsoft India had doubled the maternity leave period for its employees to 6 months and had introduced flexible work arrangements for the new mums for up to two years. "The move is aimed at further boosting a healthy and productive work environment as well as emotional upliftment of the company's workforce.This (extension) is in addition to Microsoft India's continued support to its women employees by offering them the option of availing unpaid leave up to three months and flexible work arrangements up to two years," Microsoft said in a press statement.
  • Mothers as leaders: Ernst & Young India is working on a programme called 'Maternal Coaching', where all the women at the leadership and senior positions will coach other women in their teams before and after maternity leave on not quitting the job.
  • Retaining the umbilical cord: PriceWaterhouseCoopers has plans to retain women who leave for maternity with an 'umbilical cord' of up to seven years so that the women on the maternity leave could be on the rolls of the company.
  • Bringing women back to work: Deloitte has also plans to "Bringing Women Back to Work" and "Men as Champions" at all its offices in India and the existing flexi-work policies are being made even more woman friendly.

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