IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which employs over 4 lakh people across the world, has become one of the first Tata Group companies to announce changes in its health insurance policy in order to provide benefits to employees involved in a same-sex relationship. The change in health insurance policy would now benefit all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender or LGBT employees in the company.
According to an email received by the company's employees, the new health policy redefines 'spouse' as a partner, The Times of India reported. TCS' new insurance policy will cover up to 50 per cent cost of sex or gender reassignment surgery, the report adds.
"Respect for the individual is one of our core TCS values, and built on this value, we continue our journey towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. We believe in building an organization where everyone feels included, involved and respected. We want to make the ecosystem fare and conducive for all," TCS Global Diversity chief Preeti D'mello told the daily.
Notably, a handful of big companies, which includes Godrej Group, Accenture, IBM India, Citibank, Capgemini India and RBS India, already offer similar policies to members of the LGBT community.
However, most companies in India are yet to provide insurance cover to unmarried or live-in partners of heterosexual employees as the legal status and rights of unmarried couples are yet to be clearly defined in the Indian system, say experts. Such coverage is not easy for a standalone customer since insurance companies ask for some kind of proof. However, if the coverage is part of a group insurance policy then the company takes the responsibility, they add. Additionally, such moves also signal the herald of a change in the outlook of people towards unmarried partners.
Edited by Manoj Sharma