Is Parental Leave Part of Your Leave Policy?
Everyone is more likely aware of the maternity leave policy. However, not many are aware of paternity leave or parental leave. Parental leave is inclusive of both maternity and paternity leave. Paternity leave is the direct method to address the gender dynamics in the workplace and at home. Family responsibility calls for the involvement of both genders, mother and father. Child care is a joint responsibility, and it is time that Indian Organizations and people understand this.
Some companies have realized this and placed gender-neutral parental leave for their employees across India. Many companies like Amazon, Reddit, Netflix, Novartis, Etsy, etc., provide great paid parental leaves. However, very few Indian companies work around a couple’s childcare needs.
No Universal Paternity Leave Law in India
In India, there is no universal Paternity Leave law. There is no provision for paternity leaves. The Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972 only allow male government employees to take paternity leave 15 days before or within six months of the baby’s birth. Other countries, on the other hand, provide significantly better benefits to their employees. For example, Finland offers seven months of paid leave to all employees, male and female. In Sweden, both parents are entitled to 480 days of collective leave, divided between them. However, each parent has been given 90 days of unpaid leave.
This law also seems to stem from the fact that in India, many still believe that child-rearing is primarily a mother’s responsibility. That is why you can see that Indian women working in state-run and private companies are entitled to 26 weeks of paid leave, one of the longest in the world. But there is still no national policy for paternity leave benefits.
What is the Importance of Having a Fair Parental Leave Policy?
When a child is born, the parents must have time to bond with their new child. However, policies in the workplace are inconsistent, and some companies do not even have them. Government minimums do not always reflect the actual need for adequate time off. Some companies may even brush it under their rug until the time comes to address it. However, setting a fair parental leave policy is widely encouraged. Find here the paternity leave benefits.
- A shared parental policy is a very progressive idea, and it gives better flexibility to the parents
- This policy allows the dads to spend more time with their children when they are born
- This also allows the male employees to get a better insight into the mothers who come back after maternity leave
- It is a way to promote true gender equality in the workplace, leading to fundamental changes to working practices as well
- Having the option allows for the employee to make their own decision regarding it
- When dad takes parental leaves, it allows the mothers to go back to work more easily
- This creates a more diverse, inclusive workplace that will thrive
Parental Leave vs Maternity Leave
“Maternal Leave” means the time the woman has taken off work to care for her newborn child. This means that maternity leave is essentially only for biological mothers. Paternity leaves, meanwhile, ensure the father can also take time off work to bond with the newborn child and support the wife.
However, parental leave can be both maternity or paternity leave. It may also go beyond that. It is the time for any parent, mother, or father, be they a surrogate, biological or adopted, to take care of the child if required. This leave is usually given to parents with children (till they grow to a certain age) if they fall ill. Both parents can take parental leave at the same time or at different times, even if they have the same employer.
Meanwhile, it is seen that people who work in companies that offer generous parental leaves or paid leaves result in better retention and engagement rates. Employees who take paid parental leave do not have to choose between caring for a newborn or working after the placement of a child. They can take the necessary extended leave with pay without feeling stressed about money or overworked at their job. This helps to improve not only their work-life balance but their productivity as well.