1 day earlier, 8 weeks Today: Why India Inc is getting serious about paternity leaves


Consumer products major Johnson & Johnson India recently announced a new paternity leave policy under which both new and adoptive fathers will be entitled to eight weeks of paid leave during the first year of birth or adoption.

A firm release had said that this improved paternity leave will enable the dads to bond with the child during the first year. This is also expected to attract younger workers to the workforce.

Leave to bond with a new-born or adopted child which was earlier primarily restricted to moms is now also being extended to fathers. Maternity leave was extended to 26 weeks in India from 12 months earlier. While companies would give one day off to new fathers, the duration of it is being extended.

Technology consultancy major ThoughtWorks increased the paternity leave to 4 months, which is availed at any time during the first year of child birth or adoption.

“We, earlier had two weeks of paternity leave. We increased it to 4 weeks in 2016, since the two, female and male employees felt that this, could allow fathers to contribute more during the child’s first year,” said Kaushik Ghosh, People Head in ThoughtWorks India.

“The extension allows fathers of new-born, to provide greater support to the child and the mom during the first year. It also allows for better sharing of responsibilities by both parents, as it could get quite exhausting for the mother if she has to handle, by herself,” said Ghosh.

Even in the event of adoption in which a child needs time to adjust to another home and environment, both parents are given leave. There is absolutely no legal requirement as per Indian labour laws to give paternity leave.

Chitra Byregowda, Head- Diversity and Sustainability, Mindtree said that in the business paternity leave can be availed for a maximum of five working days and within 30 days after child birth which can be taken in a stretch or otherwise.

It is not huge companies which are following these practices. Smaller companies, both in the online along with offline distance

Digital lending startup Capital Float allows paternity leave of 10 days which can be taken over six months.

Rajesh Viswanathan, CFO & Head of HR, Capital Float said that we believe that this policy helps members take time off from work and be with their loved ones during one of their most important and cherished moments.

“We have observed that fathers come back to work with renewed energy and motivation. This further contributes to the strength of the relationship between the business and the staff,” he added.

Compared to a mindset that bringing up a child is merely a girl’s job, both individuals as well as organisations have realised that it is the joint responsibility of both the father and mother. An advertisement by Raymond a few years ago had led to heated debates about whether or not a father should stay home with the infant if the mother has to go to work.

Anand Talwar, CHRO, ITC Infotech said that they provide five days of paternity leave. This leave is dispersed across one year from the date of child birth. The employee can avail this leave as per his requirement

“Paternity leave is very important and useful for any new dad.


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