IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), has taken a major step towards inclusion by tweaking its health insurance policy to cover employees involved in a same-sex relationship. It would perhaps be the first Tata Group company to do so.
In an email update to its employees, TCS announced the new changes which will benefit LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) employees. The new policy redefines 'spouse' as 'partner', thereby broadening the scope to cover same-sex partners.
TCS global diversity head Preeti D'mello told an English Daily that the new policy was formalized last week. The definition of spouse will now include same-sex partners irrespective of their marital status.
Under the new policy, up to 50% of the cost of sex/gender reassignment surgery (up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh) will be covered by insurance.
D'mello added, “Respect for the individual is one of our core TCS values, and built on this value, we continue our journey towards LGBTQ+ inclusion. We believe in building an organization where everyone feels included, involved and respected. We want to make the ecosystem fare and conducive for all.”
She revealed that the firm has already received one application for gender reassignment surgery.
When it comes to promoting LGBT+ inclusion in the workplace, employee benefits is one area that provokes a lot of debate. It is important to ensure LGBT+ employees' partners are treated equally as family members and beneficiaries in medical, insurance, relocation and relevant leave policies.
Besides being fair, it also makes for a better business case for organizations. Some forward thinking companies have already extended medical cover/family health insurance cover to same-sex partners such as RBS India, Citibank, Capgemini India, among others. As per a report launched by Boston Consulting Group and Open for Business on LGBTQ hiring across fast-growing companies in emerging markets, LGBT+ inclusive companies have significantly more revenue come from international sources without suffering any negative revenue impacts. This has an important implication for emerging market firms looking to globalize: In order to appeal to a global audience, they have to be LGBT+ inclusive.