Citigroup Inc has taken a move towards a more inclusive employee policy by extending certain policies such as health insurance coverage and relocation expenses to all domestic partners, including live-in partners and LGBT partners in India. The New York-based investment bank and financial services corporation will be one of the first in the country to offer insurance cover to live-in or unmarried partners of heterosexual employees. A handful of companies already offer similar policies to members of the LGBT community.
Godrej Group, Accenture and IBM already offer medical insurance to same-sex partners of their LGBTQ employees.
Padmaja Chakravarty, business sponsor of the Citi India Pride Network said that the company is extending the medical insurance benefits to domestic partners of their employees that includes partners of the same sex or otherwise, who live together. She said that the company is also extending domestic relocation benefits that usually apply to spouses, parents or dependent children of employees to such domestic partners of employees, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
Most companies do not 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, as opined by 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, according to experts.
Additionally, such moves also signal the herald of a change in the outlook of people towards unmarried partners.
Citigroup's Pride Network was set up to create a more diverse organisation. The network organises open houses and gets all its employees together to generate awareness among many other things.