Accenture gives 22 weeks leave for adoption & surrogacy
Along with increased maternity leave benefits for its full time and part time women employees in India to 22 weeks of paid leave, Accenture has introduced a new adoption policy where its women employees are granted a paid leave for 22 weeks on adopting a child from the current eight. It also added surrogacy leave of 22 weeks as a new category. With this Accenture has joined the league of select companies that treats adoption leave on par with maternity leave.
Parag Pande, HR lead for India and global lead for learning and talent development operations at Accenture said,
'As an organisation, we want to be the most inclusive and diverse. Last year, we extended our maternity benefits (to five months) and that has had a tremendous impact on retention of women. Realizing that, we have extended the same benefits to adoption and surrogacy”.
What does the policy include?
This new policy means equal treatment of all mothers. The benefits include three months of unpaid leave to cater to the demands of the new member in the family. The new mothers will also gain access to a variety of resources such as discounted childcare services, interactive parenting workshops, employee assistance programmes, and pre and post-maternity counselling sessions.
Pande further added,
'Adopting a child in India is not easy – it takes years of perseverance as the process is very exhaustive. The first few months is crucial for child nurturing and to bond with the child. Hence we decided to extend the benefits so that it sends out a message to all our woman employees that we care to support them in this crucial life stage and so that senior high-potential woman employees do not leave the organisation at this care-giving stage to never return.”
Earlier, ‘adopting’ a baby was considered a societal stigma – something that happened behind the curtains – every time someone adopted a bundle of joy, celebrations were mostly muted. People had various notions about adoption. But things are looking brighter for couples who decide to adopt for various reasons – unable to conceive, or even deciding just to adopt. Most Indian organizations are now more than willing to allow their employees to take paid leaves to take care of their adopted child.
Being adoptive parents or biological is not the question here – it’s about parenthood and taking care of a baby. And there is no greater joy than this!