PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) India today said it has launched a programme that allows women employees to take leave for up to three years for childcare, PTI reported. Women employees can, however, avail this benefit only once.
The multi-national company also revised the duration of paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks with effect from January 1, 2016.
The childcare programme, Full Circle, applies to all regular full-time women employees who have been employed with PwC for two or more years, have taken a break and intend to come back to work with the company.
"Our intent with the launch of this programme is to put into practice the deep organisational commitment towards supporting our women employees and their personal needs," PwC India Chief People Officer Jagjit Singh said.
Benefits of the programme include continuity of service throughout the programme duration, a mentor to connect with throughout the programme who will also assist in transition back to the firm, access to local firm events and functions and all PwC-related updates and continuity of all health and welfare benefits.
"With this new programme, our women employees, who constitute nearly a third of our total workforce in India, will get the opportunity to stay connected with their colleagues, peers and firm even if they decide to take a break to care for their children," the company said.
PwC also said in its press release that it would continue to provide employees with flexible options to establish work-life balance.
In August, India's upper house passed the Maternity Leave (Amendment) Bill, 2016, raising the maternity leave for working women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.