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Paternity leave in India: 57% large firms offer 2 weeks; start-ups lagging behind

Paternity leave in India: 57% large firms offer 2 weeks; start-ups lagging behind

JobsForHer’s Diversity Survey has also found that 14 per cent of both large enterprises and SMEs or start-ups have no paternity policies in place at all.

India's paternity leave policies lacking India's paternity leave policies lacking

Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal and former Indian captain Virat Kohli might have made headlines for taking paternity leaves, but that also underscored the importance of normalising paternity leaves. Even so, gradually there’s a change emerging, as found by JobsForHer, India’s largest platform to accelerate women’s careers. 

JobsForHer’s Diversity Survey, including 300 companies, has found that 57 per cent of large enterprises provide two weeks and more paternity leaves to their male employees. This percentage is considerably low for SMEs and start-ups with 31 per cent. 

What stands out and is more alarming is that 14 per cent of both large enterprises and SMEs or start-ups have no paternity policies in place at all. 

Companies like Intel Technology India, Mastercard Incorporated and Sodexo India Services have some of the most innovative diversity practices in the country, the platform said. Speaking at JobsForHer's AccelHERate & DivHERsity Awards, Vijay Colaco, HR Director, Intel Technology India said, “Pandemic has taught us a lot, it’s all about sharing the workload at work and home. We should look at bringing family-oriented policies that could be equally beneficial to all genders, even for single parents. And that can happen only when we start thinking a little innovatively.”

Indian companies’ paternity policies are in stark comparison compared to countries like Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway that provide 12, 12, 10 and 10 weeks of paternity leaves respectively. 

Benefit for companies

JobsForHer report said that paternity leave policies benefit companies in many ways:

  • It creates a more equal and diverse workplace, boosting productivity
  • It impacts gender equality in the workforce
  • It provides support to women’s careers
  • It can attract and retain the best talent

Neha Bagaria, founder and CEO of JobsForHer said, “Paternity leave in India has been gaining prevalence over the last few years, but we still have a long way to go. Today, fortunately, gender parity is being considered a top priority for organisations as they are introducing more family-friendly policies. Companies should offer and also encourage their employees to take parental leave, as male employees sometimes fear that such leave can hinder their career plans.”

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