Zomato’s parental leave policy takes on gender pay gaps in India — one of world’s worst

By: |
June 12, 2019 11:40 AM

By giving both parents the same benefit to care for a new child, the expectation is that women won’t be unfairly penalized with lower pay.

Zomato — Representative Image

India’s well-known technology startup Zomato took an important step last week in trying to narrow one of the widest gender pay gaps in the world. The food delivery operator will offer men paid parental leave of six months, the same amount of time that women are legally allowed to take off from work when they have children. Chief Executive Officer Deepinder Goyal said an unequal parental leave policy is one of the reasons India has a lack of women in leadership positions and the “myopic view of primary caregiving” alienates half of the workforce.

India made it mandatory last year to give women 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, making it one of the most progressive policies in the world. But it also sparked concerns that rising business costs would discourage firms from hiring women, with one survey estimating as many as 1.8 million job losses. By giving both parents the same benefit to care for a new child, the expectation is that women won’t be unfairly penalized with lower pay.

Also Read: Zomato introduces 26 weeks paid parental leave to all employees

India had the biggest disparity in average hourly wages between men and women out of 73 countries in the International Labour Organisation’s Global Wage Report 2018/19. At 34.5%, the pay gap is more than double the global average, according to the report. Zomato’s high-profile move may bring more attention to the issue and prompt other companies to follow with better parental benefits.

“Sooner or later, other companies are likely to emulate this move,” said Vidisha Mishra, an associate fellow at Observer Research Foundation, a think-tank in New Delhi. “But let’s be clear, having the right to take paid parental leave does not necessitate that men will take them.” It’s too soon to assess whether this could have an impact on the gender pay gap, “however it’s a start in changing dominant organizational cultures,” she said.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1WhatsApp’s new policy: A privacy bogey?
2RPower board approves preferential issue of shares, warrants to RInfra promoters
3Insolvency Case: NCLT sets up monitoring panel for DHFL until Piramal Group’s resolution plan is implemented