Deepinder Goyal, Founder, Zomato believes that a lot of that imbalance at the top stems from an unequal leave policy for men and women when they welcome their children to this world. And hence, understanding the need for both men and women to be there for their children, Zomato has decided to extend paid parental leaves to all of its employees, irrespective of their gender.
“For women across the globe (we have teams in 13 countries as we speak), we will be offering 26 weeks paid leave, or will follow the government mandated policy, whichever is more. We will be offering exactly the same benefits to men as well. There won’t be even an iota of difference in parental leave policy for men and women at Zomato going forward,” wrote Goyal in his blog.
What’s even more interesting is that this policy also applies to non birthing parents, and in cases of surrogacy, adoption, and same-sex partners.
Additionally, the new parents will also be given an endowment of $1000, per child. These policy changes will be applicable to even those employees at Zomato (referred to as Zomans) who have had a child within the last 6 months.
In a country, where same sex-relationships have only recently got acceptance, the trend of extending parental leaves for all the genders alike and in the cases like surrogacy and adoption, is not that popular.
Even if some forward thinking companies have such policies for male employees and non-birthing parents, the leaves given our often not as long as 26 weeks. As the government has not mandated the employers to extend leaves for this long, not many companies themselves have taken that initiative.
In a recent survey done by People Matters in partnership with KLAY Prep Schools, it was observed that 23 percent of the employers who participated are still not giving paternity leaves. Even giving out leaves in the cases of surrogacy and adoption wasn’t a common phenomenon.
Keeping the new ways of life in mind, it is a good initiative by Zomato to expand the scope of parental leaves and make it more inclusive. Let’s see how soon other companies out there catch up to this trend. The journey from ‘Maternity Benefits’ to ‘Parental Benefits’ is long but with many companies already on that road, it seems to be possible.