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Paternity Leave in India for Private Companies: Our 6 Top Picks

August 21, 2023

When former Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal announced he was taking paternity leave following the birth of his second child in 2022, it reignited the debate around paternity leave in India.

A growing body of research demonstrates that paternity leave advances gender equality and has many benefits for the father, mother, and newborn child. For instance:

While maternity leave is provided for in the Maternity Benefit Act in India, there’s currently no mandatory paternity leave for private sector employees — and even government employees only receive 15 days of paternity leave.

However, many businesses in India have decided to forge ahead with offering paternity leave to employees. Here are six of the employers with the most generous paternity leave policies in the country.

1. Netflix

The Netflix website states its policy on parental leave is “take care of your baby and yourself” and that new parents generally take between four and eight months off. 

Additionally, the streaming giant offers family formation and reproductive support for parents going through fertility, surrogacy, or adoption processes.

In 2015, Netflix Chief Talent Officer Tawni Cranz said, “We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. We’ll just keep paying them normally, eliminating the headache of switching to state or disability pay.”

2. Google

On January 22, 2022, Google announced that all of its employees globally will be able to access between 18 and 24 weeks of paid parental leave. New birthing parents will receive 24 weeks of leave, while surrogate and adopting parents will receive 18 weeks of leave. 

Google has long been a leader in employee benefits, so the move came as no surprise. Fiona Ciccioni, Google’s chief people officer, said, “We want to support our employees at every stage of their lives, and that means providing extraordinary benefits, so they can spend more time with their new baby, look after a sick loved one, or take care of their own well-being.”

3. Natwest Group

Natwest Group — which has locations in New Delhi, Chennai, Gurugram, and Bengaluru — launched its ‘Partner Leave Policy’ in January 2023. The policy allows partners across genders to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to take care of a new child — whether from birth, adoption, or surrogacy.

Previously, paternity leave for Natwest employees was just two weeks, and this significant increase allows parent employees to spend more time with their children. The one caveat is that the employee must have worked at least six months with the bank. 

Natwest Group head (HR—international hubs) Maneesh Menda told the Times of India: “By making the policy non-gender-specific, we’re trying to combat the myth that caring for a child is a responsibility limited to women.” He further called upon men to ‘shoulder equal responsibility’ and become partners in caregiving for a child. 

4. Diageo

Diageo also launched its parental leave policy in 2023, granting up to 26 weeks of paid leave to parents of any gender and regardless of whether the baby is welcomed into the family through conception, adoption, or surrogacy. The policy covers both primary and secondary caregivers. 

A Diageo spokesperson said: “By making our policy comprehensive and flexible, the company wants to ensure that caregivers are able to focus on spending quality time to bond with their children and their responsibilities can be equally shared.”

5. — the Bengaluru-based parent company of fitness chain — announced its gender-neutral parental leave program for its 3,500 employees in November 2022. 

The policy provides for six months of paid leave for parents of any gender, regardless of whether the baby is adopted, born through surrogacy, or born of conception. After that, flexible working options are available for those who want a longer break. 

Ankit Gupta, Head of Product and Engineering at said, “The program empowers our employees to design a life best suited to their aspirations and eliminates bias.”

6. Novartis

Novartis — a global healthcare company based in Switzerland with offices around the world, including in India — announced its gender-neutral parental leave policy for Indian employees in 2019. 

The 26-week paid parental allowance covers both the birthing and non-birthing parent and applies to birth, adoptive, and surrogate parents. “Becoming a parent is a life-changing event and we want our people to cherish the experience. We believe that this move will enrichen the workplace and foster a more inclusive culture in the organization,” said Sanjay Murdeshwar, Country President India.

What Makes a Good Paternity Leave Policy?

The quality of paternity leave benefits can significantly impact an employee’s work-life balance, well-being, and overall job satisfaction. 

Progressive organizations recognize the importance of supporting new fathers during this crucial period and offer various paternity leave benefits to meet their needs. 

Here are five key aspects of their paternity leave policies you should pay attention to:

1. Duration

The duration of paternity leave is a critical aspect that directly affects a new father’s ability to bond with their child and share childcare responsibilities. 

Companies that offer extended paternity leave periods demonstrate a commitment to work-life balance and acknowledge the significance of family responsibilities.

2. Percentage of Pay Received

The financial aspect of paternity leave is also extremely important because employees are more likely to take advantage of it if they receive fair compensation during their time away from work. 

Adequate pay during paternity leave allows fathers to focus on their family’s needs without financial stress and fosters a supportive work environment. Aim to offer full or a substantial percentage of an employee’s salary during the parental leave period. 

3. Remote and Hybrid Working Options

Providing remote or hybrid working options to new fathers during or after their paternity leave period can improve work-life balance and support new families. 

Remote work enables fathers to fulfill their parental responsibilities while staying connected to their professional roles. 

This flexibility not only benefits the employee but also showcases the company’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and family-friendly workplace culture.

4. Flexible Leave Options

Many fathers prefer to split their parental leave allowance over a certain time period rather than taking it all in one go. However, not all employers provide this option. 

Companies that offer more flexibility in this regard acknowledge that parenthood is an ongoing journey with different needs arising over time. Allowing multiple instances of paternity leave demonstrates a supportive stance toward employees’ evolving family responsibilities.

5. Company Culture

Company culture plays a pivotal role in shaping the perception and use of paternity leave benefits. 

A family-friendly and inclusive culture encourages employees to take advantage of paternity leave without fear of negative consequences or stigma. 

Company-wide communication that promotes the importance of paternity leave and visibly supports employees during this period fosters a positive work environment and strengthens employee loyalty.

How to Offer Paternity Leave to Indian Employees

Although the Indian government has not yet mandated paternity leave to non-governmental positions, many private Indian companies are recognizing its importance and offering healthy benefits packages to their employees. 

If you want to boost your employer reputation and hire top Indian talent, you’ll want to consider joining them. If your company isn’t based in India, one of the easiest ways to hire employees in India and offer them paternity benefits is to partner with an EOR like Remofirst. 

Our team of legal and compliance experts can help you ensure your parental leave policies are compliant and competitive in India and over 150 other countries around the world. 

Read more about Remofirst’s EOR services here.