Did you know that the US does not give its women paid maternity leave? The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a law that requires most companies to allow their employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave time after the birth of their child in the US.
Childbirth is not an easy process. Despite improved healthcare and luxurious birthing clinics, a newborn child needs time and care. Also the mother needs time to recover while catering to her child’s needs. The statutory maternity leave in India is for three months. This is paid leave and can be extended up to six months with loss of pay. This is the standard policy followed across most corporates and startups across India.
Conscious of the fact that maternity is a key milestone when significant numbers of women decide to stop working. InMobi has taken the lead and launched their new flexible maternity leave policy on Monday.
We spoke with Abhay Singhal, Co-founder, InMobi about the flexi maternity leave benefit. He says, “We pride ourselves on our ‘Live Your Potential’ people philosophy. Our goal is to constantly invest in our biggest asset – people – to harness their potential. New mothers always find it difficult to adjust to their dual roles. Our intent here is to slowly get them acclimatised to this dual role and eventually get them comfortable with work life. We not only focused on extending the period to 6 months, but also designed it in a manner to help them get back to work life smoothly.”
The flexi maternity leave benefit includes 4 months of full paid leave, followed by half day paid leave along with work from home facility for up to 6 months, until they are fully re-adjusted in their dual role, as a mother and as a corporate professional. The maternity coverage, which is 75,000, will continue.
Early this year InMobi did a survey on working mothers in their India office about their transition to work and difficulties faced during the process. To their surprise, lack of leaves was not the hard part. Leaving the newborn back at home was tough.
Shubha Pai, Head of Presales at InMobi says,“I believe it’s a step in the right direction, because this is the time when you’re at your vulnerable best and a policy like this can take all your worries away and can make the transition from maternity to work smooth.”
This is a good move to ensure that the women who avail maternity leave and want to resume work can do so with less stress.
We spoke with Saswati, a woman employee at a startup who is in the early stages of her pregnancy about this flexible maternity leave benefit. According to her, “Six months of leave instead of three would indeed be a great boon for working mothers. That ensures that the nursing period also gets covered and the mother gets sufficient time to spend with her newborn.”