Extended Maternity Leaves – An Employee Retention Trend among Indian Companies


According to the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, a women employee is entitled to get a paid maternity leave for 3 months. It has been noticed that majority of the employees do not return back to the employment post maternity period due to related reasons due to which the number of the women employees in the leadership roles have become severely low.

Looking at this critical situation where high potential talents are leaving the organisation due to the less number of leaves been availed to the women employees during the maternity period, many Indian organizations are extending the maternity leave period with additional benefits too. Some of the eminent players supporting the extended maternity leave are Flipkart, Godrej, Vodafone, Intel, Intuit, Accenture, ICICI, Adobe.


  • 6 months of Paid Leave
  • 4 months of optional flexible working with pay.
  • 1 year of career break without pay, after which they return to available jobs
  • Transport Reimbursement of Rs.600 per day during the last 2 months of pregnancy.
  • Stock Parking Facility i.e Reserve Parking slot for 2 months before and after the delivery
  • 50% of off in day care charges for children up to 4 years of age

Vodafone India

  • 4 months of paid maternity leave
  • Working hours of 6 hours per day for 6 months post return of maternity
  • 1 working week of paternity leave

 Intuit India

  • Extended paid maternity leaves
  • Financial coverage of Rs.60000 for normal deliveries and up to Rs.75000 for cesarean deliveries
  • Financial coverage of surrogacy and infertility treatments

 Intel India

  • Extended paid maternity leave of 5 months
  • 1 month of flexible working option for new mothers
  • 150 days of paid adoption leave for women employees
  • Discounts for day care charges (Best day cares have been tied up within city)
  • Financial coverage of Rs.100000 for maternity
  • Continuous touch with the women employees during the maternity period to reduce the anxiety level which could arise among the employees being away from work for a long period
  • Sensitivity training for all senior managers for a smooth transition to work post maternity

Godrej – 6 months paid leave

ICICI Bank – 6 Months paid leave

Adobe India – Extended paid maternity leave or adoption leave of 6.5 months


  • Extended paid maternity leave of 5 months
  • Additional 1 month of paid leave
  • 3 months of unpaid leave options
  • Maximum maternity leave of 9 months allowed including 5 months paid
  • Maternity Returners Programme – Career guidance facility for parents for re-entry into new roles post maternity period depending on the choice of the employees
  • Parents at work Programme – Assistance to women employees during the maternity period to continue their job and advance in their roles and responsibilities
  • Maternity Counseling Calls – Facility for the women employees during the maternity period to get counseled by a professional counselor for 6 sessions.
  • Employee Assistance Programme – This helps the employees to cope up with their personal and professional hurdles which they generally face during the maternity period.

Currently only the women with government jobs in India are entitled to get a 6 months maternity leave as per the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules, 1972. Recently Maneka Gandhi, Minister of women and child development, proposed a maternity leave 8 months. These 8 months will include 1 month of leave before the maternity and 7 months after the delivery. This decision have been kept in consideration looking into the fact of importance of breastfeeding of the new born for at least 6 months which will reduce current high rate of child malnutrition in the country. However the current status is that the labour ministry is ready to consider a 6.5 months of a maternity leave for Government and Private Sector women employees. The final decision is yet to be passed in the Parliament.

Availability of these facilities to helps to attract, motivate and retain women employees thereby reducing the attrition rate of potential talents in the organisation. Such initiatives help the women employees to return back to their workplace smoothly balancing their work as well as their personal life giving 100 percent commitment to family and the organisation.


“SELF FORMED TEAM – SFT” and “SELF MANAGED TEAM- SMT” –Unique Employee Engagement Practice

SELF MANAGED TEAM – Here Teams work without supervision. This is also called also called supervision-less system. It sounds surprising but it’s a fact.

RPG Group (Ceat/ Spencers) has come out with this concept. This concept was started by P&G, followed by DuPont and a few other organizations. Here they are trained and empowered to plan, review the gaps, brainstorms among them to identify the reason for gaps, take work place decisions & execute their day to day operations. This enables them to come out with the best possible ways to execute tasks. The accountability & responsibility of accomplishment of the tasks complete rests on the team members.

This practice was initiated at the CEAT Plant at Halol(Gujrat). It resulted in higher productivity & harmony among the employees.

SELF FORMED TEAM – Here a group of employees voluntarily comes ahead and forms a team for performing an activity/task. Here the employees have the freedom to form groups based on common interests. Facilitating such group formation increases social bonding and higher level of employee engagement.

Corporate Initiatives to form Self Formed Teams


Community development teams are there to generate awareness on safety, working mothers groups, and a self-formed cricket team. In fact a group of employees came together to modify a junkyard in the office premises and convert it into a sports arena


Several groups has been facilitated here where in employee come together to discuss/ brainstorm about various issues health & safety, employee facilities like transportation, canteen  & come out with better innovative solutions.

In fact a team has started Yoga Class where the objective is not only about the health but also a platform for cross functional employees meet aiming better collaboration at work.

Edelweiss Financial Services

Groups such as adventure club, running club and photography club has been initiated by the HR team where like-minded people can come together and engage in their hobbies and interests. The social networking site of the organization called PING also enables people with similar interests to come together, share and learn.


There are five councils: Community Service, Grey Cells – deals with quizzing and other intellectual interests), Sports, Personal Talent and Wellness.

HCL also has Interest Clubs, which are primarily online platforms for the employees with common interest to connect. There are eight such clubs: Clic – The Photography Club, The Foodies Club, The Pet Club, The Toastmasters Club, Library On Demand, HCL Record breakers, The Polyglots corner and Bikers’ Club. These clubs use the company’s internal social networking platform ‘MEME’ to bring together like-minded people who wish to share tips, pictures, and knowledge.


Self managed team

Standard Chartered Bank

This bank has a recreation club which organizes indoor game tournaments during the monsoon as well as hockey, cricket and football tournaments.


Nielsen has various clubs include Hit F5 (employee fun club), wellness club, dance club, and a soon-to-be-launched cooking club


Dell has a number of interest groups that are formed and run by the employee: the runners group, photography club, quizzing club, toastmasters club, cricket club and cycling club.


At Philips, the largest self-formed group is called JOSH: it drives small fun-at-work initiatives like quizzes. Employees have also formed interest groups like photographers club, trekking group, etc.


  • These groups gets employees to come out from the shell and have fun, create positive work environment which reflects a better engaged workforce.
  • It helps an organization to motivate employees without any huge investment
  • This enables employees to connect and establish strong social bonds with colleagues and develop team spirit.
  • The employees use such opportunity to express themselves, learn & exchange knowledge freely. The outcome is more connected, content & productive.
  • These initiatives keep the employee morale high & make them passionate about their work.
  • This encourages employees to break the monotony of work too.
  • Finally this results in higher level of employee engagement

LEADERSHIP MANUFACTURING UNITS – how leaders are made in today’s corporate world!

TATA group

TATA group emphasizes on in-house Leadership Development Programmes.

 Tata Leadership Seminars (TLS)

  • —Tata Group Strategic Leadership Seminar (TGSLS) – MDs, the CEOs, COOs and those with a potential to assume such roles in the Immediate / near future.
  • —Tata Group Executive Leadership Seminar – Senior management professionals, functional heads.
  • —Tata Group Emerging Leaders Seminar (TGeLS) – This is for high potential emerging leaders from middle levels of management ideally in the age group of 30 to 40


McD Mentoring– Every learner is assigned a coach at every step of development.

  • —Develop the employee skills
  • —Build their confidence and competence
  • —Career guidance for crew and managers
  • —Succession planning

McDonald’s Leadership Institute

  • —It develops critical leadership skills needed to address both long- and short-term business challenges.
  • —“Individual development plans,, map out leadership training in support of one’s performance and career goals.”
  • —Accelerated Leadership Development Programs – for high-potential directors and officers

Restaurant leadership training programme For Restaurant General managers

  • —Five-day programme from Hamburger University. Career guidance for crew and managers
  • —To apply leadership behaviors, lead their restaurant, and develop their department managers.


Infosys Leadership Institute

  • —It nurtures leaders and advances the field of leadership development. ILI works toward ensuring that Infosys has appropriate leaders to take on senior leadership positions as and when they arise
  • ILI ensures that Infosys has a pool of successful and ready leaders to build tomorrow’s enterprise.

 Areas Focused :

  • —Strategic Leadership
  • —Change/ Adversity Leadership
  • —Operational Leadership
  • —Talent Leadership
  • —Relationship/ Networking Leadership
  • —Content Leadership
  • —Entrepreneurial Leadership


Starbucks Leadership Lab

  • Impart leadership training, with a a problem-solving framework.
  • Demonstrations of new product, blend development, and customer service.
  • But what makes the Leadership Lab different than a typical corporate trade show is the production surrounding all of this. The lights, the music, and the dramatic big screens all help Starbucks marinate its store managers in its brand and culture. It’s theater–a concept that Starbucks itself is built

The Best companies for grooming leaders

  • IBM – The New York-headquartered technology company sends SWAT teams to coach their local staff.
  • General Mills – Fortune 500 company- primarily deals with food products – such as Pillsbury – over 90 per cent of management promotions are internal.
  • Procter & Gamble– Every chief executive at P&G started at the entry level in the company.
  • Aditya Birla Group – operates in over 33 countries, honours its employees who teach skills to villagers
  • Colgate-Palmolive – has a 7 -day Colgate Leadership Challenge in which junior employees work on a team business project, are taken through presentations by senior leaders, and do charity work.
  • Hindustan Unilever – sends young managers to live in Indian villages so that they can understand the needs of rural consumers.
  • ICICI Bank – assigns talent scouts to identify promising employees.
  • McDonald’s – has an officer development programme to train talent in finance, human resources and marketing
  • Whirlpool – has a set of senior executives who serve as “innovation mentors” who are tasked with evaluating business ideas.
  • PepsiCo – works on 10-year growth plans for individuals who the company believes have the potential climb high on the corporate ladder.
  • Bharti Airtel– The company has a reverse mentoring programme, in which junior employees tutor senior staff about new technology