MUMBAI: The war for talent is playing out in a big way as companies outplay each other on employee benefits. Of these, paternity or childcare leave to the secondary caregiver parent has emerged as one of the key attractions. Salesforce, the Bay Area tech giant, is the latest to set a new benchmark on paternity leave and emerge as a company that offers the largest quantum so far — three months — of secondary caregiver leave.
Recently, Microsoft increased its paternity leave to six weeks. Early this year, Cummins India had set a new benchmark among manufacturing firms by raising its paternity leave to one month.
This comes when most other companies offer 10 days to two weeks as paternity leave. For firms like Salesforce, an attractive paternity leave of 12 weeks is expected to assist in talent acquisition, especially since the firm is on the lookout for skilled people. Jnanesh Kumar, director, Employee Success (India), Salesforce, said, “We believe offering paid paternity leave is the right thing to do, the right way to treat our employees. Becoming a new parent is a huge undertaking.
For parents who are forced to take unpaid family leave, the situation becomes infinitely more challenging. A strong paternity policy helps in addressing work-life conflicts which are a reality for both men and women after the birth of a baby. More importantly, we want to encourage people in India to talk about paternity leave and remove the stigma from women.” Globally, Salesforce has over 25,000 employees. In India, the company has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It’s been a year since it launched its centre of excellence in Hyderabad, which is one of its largest engineering and customer success hubs globally.
The government recently mandated a six-month maternity leave. Some companies have de-linked parental leave from gender by the usage of terms like primary caregiver and secondary caregiver. Most progressive companies extend their parental policies to adoption and surrogacy as well.