New-age firms roll out unlimited childcare leaves

Bengaluru: A host of new-age companies, such as CredAvenue, OkCredit, Plum, Nova Benefits, Swiggy, and Byju’s, are rolling out unlimited childcare leaves for their employees and offering greater work-schedule flexibility as parents struggle to take care of young children in the absence of schools and day care.

These companies are also offering their staff childcare reimbursement and extended maternity and paternity leaves, with the third Covid wave prolonging the work-from-home routine for the majority of India’s organised-sector talent.

Recently, digital bookkeeping startup OkCredit expanded its maternity and paternity benefits beyond the industry norm. New mothers in the company are now eligible for 32 weeks of paid leave — six weeks more than what’s mandated by the state -and an additional 28 weeks of work from home. New fathers are eligible for eight weeks of paid leave and 28 weeks of work from home.

“There’s also immense flexibility within teams for new parents as we understand that they need to dedicate time to the kid as well,” said Vishal Aman Gummadapu, chief

of staff at OkCredit. The firm has also recently announced an unlimited leave policy, which allows people to take as much time off as they need.

At CredAvenue, new mothers get 26 weeks of paid maternity leave as the govt. mandated leave, and an additional 26 weeks off with partial pay. New fathers get 10 weeks off, which they can split into three tranches and take within a year of the baby being born.

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“In the absence of childcare and most schools having remained shut during the course of the pandemic, we also noticed employees struggling with handling work and their young children. We then rolled out a childcare reimbursement policy under which each employee gets up to Rs 15,000 reimbursement towards childcare, for up to two children,” said Tanya Mehan, head – DEI and employer branding, CredAvenue.

At vegan beauty startup Plum, parents in the workforce have flexible working options as well as access to mental health support. Employees can reach out to a mental wellness provider for counselling and advice on managing it all in a hybrid work support, said Shankar Prasad, founder.

Employee wellness startup Nova Benefits is giving extra flexibility to employees who are parents. The company has adjusted work timings for parents and even reduced

the workload for some employees, said cofounder Saransh Garg.

“In the third wave of the pandemic, we’ve seen children being diagnosed with Covid or other illnesses, so we’ve provided employees a subscription to paediatric services whereby they can consult with a doctor as many times as they need, to make sure their kids’ health is taken care of,” said Garg.

Edtech company Byju’s has also rolled out childcare leave under which employees with children aged up to 13 years can take seven leaves annually. At Swiggy, employees get wellness session reimbursements and ongoing bonding leave for up to 15 days.

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