I read an article in today’s Economic Times newspaper about new woman-centric policies including paid maternity leave of seven months being rolled out at Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group. Other companies in the group are likely to adopt it in the near future since policies at the Tata Group companies are traditionally shaped by the initiatives at Tata Sons. The policies come in effect since May 2016. The policies have been shaped to effectively help a woman balance work and life at various stages of woman such as child-birth, early childhood care, flexible working, care for elderly, and care for child.
The policies are listed as below:
- Seven-month maternity leave with full pay, in which the leave can be taken from two months prior to child-birth;
- Work from home with reduced hours for 18 months for early childhood care after completing the maternity leave with half-pay for half working day;
- Flexibility to shift to a flexi-work arrangement such as work from home for women wishing to work full-time after completing the maternity leave;
- One year of leave during the total course of their employment for child care or elder care upon completion of five years in service, with compensation of 50% of last drawn salary;
- Performance rating during maternity leave and flexible work will be based on the average of the previous two years’ ratings or ratings for the ongoing year, whichever is higher;
- No impact on promotions during this period and maternity leave, flexible work, work from home to be considered as continuous service; and
- Six-month adoption leave;
- Six-month surrogacy leave; and
- 15 days of paternity leave
Wow. That is holistic approach and definitely commendable. Tata Group has always been a better employer and does have a human-side and seriously treats human resources as ‘humans’. I wish that this initiative becomes ‘a new benchmark in India’, where the HR policies are still seen as just an another mandatory yet non-interested policy (Many not be everywhere, but definitely somewhere this mentality would be evident)
I have been toying with the idea of starting my own and the first thing that always comes to my mind after outlining the technical implementation details is “what should be my company’s HR policies?” I started my career with MNC, Agilent Technologies, ranked 7 on best place to work. Then I shifted to start-up and then to law firms in Patents domain. I have seen the work style, atmosphere, and environment. I have had and having my interpretation and categorization of ‘good’, ‘better’, ‘bad’, ‘ugly’, and ‘worst’ of the HR policies at these companies.
I feel HR policies should be in tune with business goals and objective but at the same time should have a humanistic approach. After all, as business groups you are employing ‘humans’ and not ‘robots’ to work at assembly lines.
HR department should not be ‘under control’ of people who can influence your appraisals and career growth. HR Department should be like a place where each and every employee, no matter what position he has, can go and talk freely about anything related to workplace without fear of any negative backlash.
P.S.: The next post broadly outlines my objectives of for creating HR policies in my company. Otherwise this post would have been a boring post. J