Since the inclusion of Creche benefits as part of the maternity act in 2017, companies in India have come a long way.
While most companies initially started by extending the benefit as mandated which was either in the form of near-office tie-ups or onsite creches and with eligibility primarily for women employees, to now, where organizations are taking a proactive approach to creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace. Some key trends we have observed in recent times are
1) Corporates are extending this as a gender-agnostic benefit to parents
2) They are providing flexibility to parents to choose a daycare pan-city and not restricting it to nearby office support. This is in line with hybrid work for parents.
3) Companies we work with continue to fund the benefit either in part or full
4) Another trend we are seeing especially post covid is an ask from clients to screen and audit the centres to ensure safe practices and quality services are being offered by daycares.
It is no wonder that corporate parents see a positive impact of the benefit on their work life. In a recent employee listening exercise that we conducted,
- 91% of parents/ women employees reported that the childcare benefit has impacted them positively.
- 85% of these employees said the benefit has provided time to focus on work
- 76% reported that it has helped provide a good learning environment for their children
- 40% of employees reported it has helped provide time for self and instil confidence in children
Alongside childcare benefits, employers deploy a plethora of other benefits and programs to improve their retention and strengthen their reputation as family-friendly employers. Some of these include Pre Maternity & Post maternity Support; Flexible work arrangements; Extension of paid leave; Wellness counselling and support and advocating parent support groups within the organization
The daycare industry has also come a long way, with a huge focus now on providing safe and engaging learning options for children. Parents now have the options of part-time, full-time, flexible programs, emergency care and extended hours to meet their needs and align them to their work schedule.
It is great to see organisations moving the needle on parenting and childcare and creating meaningful impacts for working parents.
Thank you for joining and sharing your views Tejas Desai, Navin Manshani, Arpita Sur, and Ishwarya Iyer.