Swiss Drug Major, Novartis has announced 26-weeks gender-neutral parental leave for its employees across India. The new parental leave policy is effective July 1, 2019.
Novartis’ new policy also applies to non-birthing parents and in case of surrogacy, adoption. And In case both parents work with Novartis, they both will be entitled to 26 weeks’ leave.
Sanjay Murdeshwar, country president, Novartis India, said in a statement, “Our parental leave policy is a symbol of equality for all new parents in the company, offering choice and giving both parents precious time to spend bonding with their new baby.
The company has also announced that there would be no cap on the number of births for which the policy would remain effective. Also, it should be noted that in case of premature birth, depending on the number of weeks of pre-maturity, employees will also be eligible to avail additional parental leave.
Novartis will also be providing necessary coaching to its associates going on parental leave, to ensure a seamless reintegration into the workplace when they resume work again.
Maternity leave of 26 weeks is mandatory as per Indian laws across organisations in the country. However, there is no such rule for paternity leave in the country. Earlier in June this year, restaurant discovery service Zomato also announced a similar policy.