|| Pragati Mishra ||
Restaurant discovery and food delivery service provider Zomato has set a new benchmark of policies by introducing 26 weeks parental leave for all employees, both men & women. The policy also applies to non-birthing parents, and in cases of surrogacy, adoption and same-sex partners. Apart from that, Zomato will give $1,000 per child as an endowment to the new parents.
Deepinder Goyal, the founder in his blog post said Zomato believed people produce their best work when their personal & professional goals meaningfully intersect and align. Deepinder feels that one of the major reasons behind having fewer women leader in our country can be attributed to the lack of universal paid parental leave. It is hard for women to lead a healthy family life and focus on their career. As a result, a lot of women quit their job.
As we all know there is a provision for 26 weeks of maternity leave for women under Maternity Benefit (amendment) Act 2017. But there is no such provision for men. Zomato is the first company to offer such a long period for parental leave to new fathers.
Parental leave policy & UN sustainable development goals.
Gender equality is among the 17 UN sustainable development goals. Ending all discrimination is crucial for a sustainable future. No society can develop economically, socially or politically – when half of its population is marginalized. We must leave no one behind. This new policy introduced by Zomato will promote gender equality. There have been numerous instances in various companies where women have been dropped out of crucial projects or made to join a comparatively junior position when they join after a break. Majority of senior positions in the world are currently filled by men. After the maternity benefits are increased to 26 weeks from 12 weeks, some companies said that they might have made a decision to hire less female employees. Many organizations make their female employees sign a document that they will not get pregnant while they are in contract with the organization. But when the leave is provided to both men & women there would be no options left to the companies and their business could be disrupted. After all, employees are the backbone of any organization. In a survey, it is found that mothers experience more career interruptions than fathers in order to fulfil families needs. So as a result of this policy there will be a sharing of responsibilities between both women and men as caring for a child should not be an exclusive responsibility of young mom.
Overall this announcement of Zomato is a very positive and noble step as a father have also right to spend time with their babies.
Let’s see if it can be enacted in the whole of India.