Zomato on Saturday announced that it would allow 10 days of period leave to women and transgender people in a year. In his blog, CEO Deepinder Goyal urged his fellow male employees to support their colleagues who would avail these leaves in order to build a "truly collaborative culture at Zomato". However, the policy has restarted the debate on period leaves that has been raging on for years now.
Netizens seem to have been equally divided on the policy. Some have pointed out that this would lead to discrimination against women when it comes to hiring, and derail the movement for gender equality. While some have argued that such a policy is a long time coming and is a welcome move.
'Good move,' some said...
You guys are surely the leaders when it comes to policy making and employee consideration. Kudos 👍— Milind Shah (@milindtshah) August 8, 2020
Great move! Hoping that the organisation will ensure that there is no bias (on hiring and advancement) as a result of this policy— Priya Karnik (@karnik_priya) August 8, 2020
I had to read the title twice because it's such a novel concept to me that it didn't register at first go!!— Riddhi Mehta (@OnlookersTales) August 9, 2020
#PeriodLeave is affirmative action. Why mustn't women's needs be considered? Why must the needs of only able-bodied cis-gender male employees be default for organisations? Inclusive organisations consider every employee's needs, all bodies, all genders. Well done @ZomatoIN— Aekta Kapoor (@AektaKapoor) August 10, 2020
Credit where credit is due: Commendable job team @ZomatoIN . This initiative sets a benchmark and I sincerely hope other organisations follow.— Oyindrila Ray Ghosh (@oyindrilaghosh) August 8, 2020
Zomato Introduces 'Period Leave' for Employees to Combat Stigma around Menstruation https://t.co/zv37VRa3Zz
...'Unnecessary leniency,' said some
As a woman, I completwly disagree with this unnecessary leniency for women. "Equality" isn't about special treatment.— Rushali Prasad (@godhoonbey) August 8, 2020
Tbh, I hope this doesn't happen. Big org and startup will then have a hiring bias where they will prefer man over women just so that they can save few periods leaves— Pradeep Jain (@pradeep5338) August 8, 2020
This is an extremely dangerous precedent 2 set.Provide equal opportunities in appointments, promotions n pay structure. Providing holidays as period leaves will only work as a deterrence 2 employers in hiring women.I don’t think or support the idea tht women need period leaves.— Madhubanti Chatterjee (@MadhubantiChat3) August 8, 2020
I'm hoping that the Zomato will ensure that there is no bias on hiring as a result of this policy. Also if all Big organization & startup will follow the same then they might develop a hiring bias also where they will prefer men over women just to save few periods leaves...— Aryan Yadav (@SocialistArya) August 8, 2020
You think this is great? Managers will simply hire male employees even more now.— Adarsh (@Curantined) August 8, 2020
This policy, as much as it debated, does not appear to be hastily etched. In its blog, Zomato gave some 'necessary advice' on the policy. "These leaves should only be availed if you are really unable to attend to work," was one of the points. It also said that the leaves must be availed on their HR portal. "Do not abuse these leaves or use them as a crutch to take time out for other pending tasks," said Zomato.
It also put a little postscript for the male employees too. "This is a part of life, and while we don't fully understand what women go through, we need to trust them when they say they need to rest this out," said Goyal.
The company also said that if any employee availing these leaves face any distasteful comments, then they must report to the HR's prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) team.