In what could be termed as a game changer in India Inc's efforts to empower women, Citibank in India is planning to pay its Indian women employees a fixed quarterly childcare allowance of Rs 33,000 for up to four years after their return from maternity leave.
This can then use for financing daycare service of their child. This Rs 1.32 lakh a year is over up above their salaries and employees can claim the amount for two children, the Economic Times reported today.
According to the ET report, Citi said it wanted a solution that worked for women across branches in India and not just at its corporate headquarters and the idea behind monetary childcare benefit was to allow mothers "to choose their creche based on their convenience and need". The move is also aimed at boosting women participation at the leadership level.
This is a global first for Citi as 35 percent of its 12,000 India employees are women, of which 150-160 go on maternity leave every year.
The bank has also introduced a flexible maternity policy, which allowed women employees to avail their maternity leave of 180 days in three different options. Women officers could either avail of leave for a continuous period of six months or exercise flexibility in the leave duration by opting for leave in tranches.
At JP Morgan India as well, a staff member has the option to stagger her leaves.
In fact, corporates are slowly adopting flexible maternity policies in India . Conscious of the fact that maternity is a key milestone when significant numbers of women decide to stop working, InMobi recently launched their new flexible maternity leave policy which includes four months of full paid leave, followed by half day paid leave along with work from home facility for up to 6 months.The maternity coverage stands at Rs 75,000.
Even Accenture has increased the maternity-leave benefits for its full-time and part-time women employees in India to 22 weeks of paid leave, up significantly from the current statutory requirement of 12 weeks, as of 1 May, 2015. In addition, the company offers its employees in India up to eight weeks of fully paid adoption leave for primary caregivers of an adopted child, as well as one week of paid paternal leave for new fathers.
Updated Date: Jun 05, 2015 12:54:26 IST