• Indian companies push for better maternity benefits

    This is the kind of news that gives people hope. It’s the kind of news that tells you companies too are making an effort to become gender fair and give women their space. Staffing services firm TeamLease has announced that women employees can bring their children up to five years of age when they travel for business or training. The company will pay for not only just the travel and accommodation charge of the child, but also the accompanying spouse or caretaker’s as well.

    A policy like this allows the mother to make the most of giving her best at work and yet not have the guilt of staying away from her loved one – Aparna Athreya

    “Working with children and parents extensively, I know that one of the biggest difficulties a working mother faces is the guilt of spending long hours away from her child, even though she may be doing all the right things as a mother,” says Aparna Athreya founder of Kid and Parent Foundation in Bangalore.  ”A policy like this allows the mother to make the most of giving her best at work and yet not have the guilt of staying away from her loved one. This is also surely going to help make the workplace more equal opportunity driven.”

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    Star India recently announced maternity benefits which included 6 months maternity leave plus 6 months of half day or half week flexi. It further offered women employees to take another 6 months off at half pay. These benefits extend to adoption and surrogacy too.

    Maternity Laws in India

    Maternity Laws in India

    Citibank last year announced offering its women employees in India a childcare allowance over and above their salaries worth up to Rs 1.32 lakh a year for spending on daycare services of their choice. Flipkart too has offered 24 week maternity leave and flexi hours.

    Working mothers often face a dilemma either to stay at home with children or focus on careers.

    Working mothers often face a dilemma either to stay at home with children or focus on careers. Some companies offer creche services but in the end it’s a larger challenge, especially when women travel or don’t have a support system at home. The Minister for Women and Child Development has been at the heart of this campaign as well, with Maneka Gandhi pushing for 26 weeks of maternity leave as mandatory.

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    Such facilities for working mothers will ease the pressure on women at work and perhaps increase their participation once again. It also could increase their potential, lead to higher levels of productivity and retention, helping businesses to grow. Every small step in this direction matters.

    Maternity Benefits India

    Maternity Benefits India