A handful of companies in India are doing their bit in retaining and motivating the female workforce during an important phase in the life of a woman: motherhood. It may be the Vahini program, Employee Assistance Programme, Parents at work Programme of Accenture or Stock Parking, Daycare Support Program at Flipkart, Mums at Work Program at KPMG or Extended maternity Leaves at Adobe for working mothers.
Intuit India ranks high among best companies in supporting women to remain at work. “Parents at Intuit can enjoy various benefits such as maternity and paternity leave, once they are back at work they can avail daycare discounts at our partner crèches. We ensure expectant mothers have dedicated parking and a vehicle at their disposal to make travel less painful,” says Shikha Verma, Total Rewards Leader, Intuit.
Viacom18 which offers a 36-week maternity leave and flexible work arrangements for working mothers, has launched Viacubs – a child day-care service for Viacom18 employees. Viacubs is a part of Viacom18’s WAVE initiative which focusses on safety, wellness, life events and career development of employees.
Launching the first centre in Mumbai in partnership with KLAY Schools, Viacubs is spread across 2,500 sq ft. This dedicated space for children will have facilities including an infant room, toddler room, nursing room, play areas, cozy-corners to read, a pantry area, etc. Depending on the child’s age group, fun and learning activities have been designed as part of the curriculum. A backup care facility is also available for parents who need to use the service for shorter periods in case of emergencies.
The staff (caretaker) to child ratio is 1:2 for infants, 1:3 for junior toddlers, 1:5 for senior toddlers and pre-kindergarten and 1:8 for after school children. To ensure a secure environment, an online CCTV monitoring facility, as well as an emergency doctor on call, is also available. Viacubs has currently been launched in the Mumbai office and will be subsequently launched in all Viacom18 offices across India.
Says Abhinav Chopra, Chief Human Resource Officer, Viacom18, “WAVE was introduced with the aim of encouraging women to grow and take on more leadership roles to promote gender equity and inclusion at the workplace. Our women employees should not be in a position where they must choose between their careers and family.”
“Viacubs will ensure a smooth transition for the returning mother with the assurance that her child will be well attended to, in a nurturing environment. We understand the concerns that parents face when there’s a new addition to the family. Therefore, Viacubs opens its doors to new fathers, as much as to the new mothers, towards supporting their parenting journey.”
SAP Labs runs SAPlings, an in-house crèche. This crèche caters to children in the age group of nine months to six years. Under this program children are provided with day care, Montessori education, summer camps as well as other activities.
SAP Labs provides a maternity leave policy in which women employees are entitled to 20 weeks of paid maternity leave with an additional 16 weeks of extended maternity leave with loss of pay or a part time work option. Women are offered cab transportation during and post pregnancy. Another initiative Run Mummier is a maternity return program that focuses on ensuring the return of a female employee after her maternity leave as smooth as possible.
Part work-from-home after the birth of a child implies that male employees, apart from paternity leave, have the flexibility to work for four hours at office and the rest from home. Papa, after all, is just as essential.