PwC India has come up with a programme, for its full-time women employees called ‘Full Circle” – in this programme the company has allowed its female workforce to take leave for up to 3 years for childcare only once during their employment with PwC.
"Our intent with the launch of this programme is to put into practice the deep organisational commitment towards supporting our women employees and their personal needs," PwC India Chief People Officer Jagjit Singh said. Women employees in PwC constitute nearly a third of their total workforce and according to Singh the programme also allows them to be in touch with their colleagues, peers, firm during the leave period.
Some benefits of the programme include continuity of service throughout the programme duration, a mentor to connect with throughout the programme who will also assist in transition back to the firm, access to local firm events and functions and all PwC-related updates and continuity of all health and welfare benefits.
According to a Catalyst Research, India will add 110 million people to its labour force in the next 10 years, including youth and women entering the workforce. Over the next 40 years, India is projected to add 424 million working-age adults. If India can increase women's labour force participation by 10 percentage points (68 million more women) by 2025, India could increase its GDP 16%.
Debates and discussions are at peak regarding women and their impact on workforce. Corporates have also been doing their bit to engage working mothers with various perks, however, even then according to the International Labour Organization (ILO) between 2004 to 2011, when the Indian economy grew at a healthy average of about 7%, there was a decline in female participation in the country’s labour force from over 35% to 25%.
As part of a number of women-centric initiatives, PwC also revised the duration of paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks (182 calendar days) from January 1, 2016, since this has been a Government mandate for the corporates and for which the Bill has also been amended in the Parliament.
In addition, PwC will continue to provide employees with the necessary flexibility options to establish work-life balance, the company release said.