In Pursuit Of Mommyhood


There’s no need to take a mommy-break any more. Companies are giving women employees more maternity benefits and child care leave, to ensure that they don’t quit.

Are you a working woman? Are you pregnant? Then, there’s good news for you. Companies are beginning to realize the importance of women employees and are granting more than three months of maternity leave. Most offer the mandatory 90 days, but some have taken a big leap beyond this and are giving up to 168 days or 24 weeks of full paid maternity leave. In addition to this, women are being permitted to take child care leave, of a total of 730 days (including the paid maternity leave) any time the mother needs to be with the child till she finishes Class 12.

Most employers see a high attrition rate among women employees post childbirth. Unable to make the work-life balance, with the demands of motherhood and a complex work life, most women quit their jobs post maternity.

But why has this suddenly become important? Research has shown that companies with the right diversity mix grow better than companies that don’t have a balance in their male to female employee ratio. Research has also shown that helping women employees through the crucial stages in their life, helps retain them as employees.

With the new Companies Act in place, employers have to hire a minimum number of women in their work force. A parliamentary committee in 2013 had recommended that government organizations should be given 24 weeks full paid maternity leave and child care leave of 730 days.  The committee had also recommended staggered flexi work hour option or work from home options for women employees. Taking the cue from here companies like Hindustan UniLever, HCL, Godrej, Infosys and Accenture. The latest to join the elite company is Flipkart.

What companies are offering

  • 24- 26 weeks of paid maternity leave with full pay.
  • Up to 730 of child care leave (without pay) until the child finishes Class XII
  • Flexi working hours or work-from-home options
  • Parental counselling
  • Tie-ups with women & children hospitals
  • Child care support benefits

If you are pregnant and are working full time, check with your HR Department on the benefits that you can avail.

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Vidya Deshpande has been a journalist for more than two decades and has worked with top newspapers and TV channels in the country. She is a freelance writer & blogger. Using her passion for travel, Vidya runs an experiential travel organisation for women, Soul Purpose Travel, in which she takes women on curated travel experiences.