Zomato Becomes 1st Indian Company To Give Paid Paternity Leave Of 26 Weeks; New Born Will Get $1000 As A Gift

Slogans for gender equality, activists voicing themselves out fearlessly, demanding equal rights and positions in different sectors, are among headlines today. One of the major steps in this area has been taken by the unicorn startup, Zomato.

Along with providing top-class services, Zomato has now introduced exemplar employee-benefit. As a part of its new parental leave policy, Zomato will be offering a minimum of 26 weeks’ paid leave to its employees, irrespective of their gender, i.e. both men and women; and providing the new parents an endowment of $1000 (approximately Rs 69,000) per child.

The Policy of Paternity Leave for 26 Weeks

India’s Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act of 2017, extended the duration of paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks for Indian women. Zomato announced on June 3 that it will be extending new parental leave policy, which will allow paternal paid leave of at least 26 weeks to all its employees across 24 countries.

It says that there will be not a single difference in policies for male or female.

This policy also applies to non-birthing parents, cases of surrogacy, adoption, and same-sex partners. It is applicable even to those employees, who have had a child within the last six months. Zomato will also give the parents an endowment of $1000 per child, considering the financial straining a child can bring to a young family.

The Applaudable Motive Behind This Change

Zomato has been looking into attaining gender equality within the company. Unfortunately, higher position seats and senior management are majorly filled by males. There are lesser female leaders in the upper hierarchy of the company, due to lack of universal paid parental leave. Consequently, females have to make a choice between raising a healthy family and their careers, leading to placing the latter on the back burner. This results in a pressing lack of diversity across all levels of the organization.

Zomato CEO and founder Deepinder Goyal says that even if an organisation wants to focus on gender balance in the senior ranks within, it is almost impossible to do that because of the supply bias. Currently, there is no provision of paid paternity leave of employees of private companies under Indian labour laws.

It is highly appreciable, the new policy that Zomato has kicked in to go this far in balancing the situation. After all, men can also contribute equally at home. Many well-known Indian companies provide only two weeks’ paternity leave to their staff.

Deutsche Bank and Proctor and Gamble offer 6 months’ parental leave for their male employees. These are large companies, unlike Zomato being a startup. There are currently 5000 employees under the unicorn. To introduce such progressive policies signals a commitment both towards equality at the workplace. Such policies form an emotional touch point between employees and the company, building an inspirational work-culture.

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