India Inc is bringing up fathers. With paternity leave policies being born in corporates, male employees are expected to be not just good professionals, but also good parents: as comfortable cleaning baby poop as making Powerpoint presentations.
Rajnish Sinha, V-P, human resources at Genpact, played Daddy Cool when his second child was born recently. “My paternity leave helped me switch off from work completely,” he says. IBM introduced the leave earlier this year; Deloitte Consulting did so three years ago. “We are an equal opportunities employer looking at progressive policies,” says SV Nathan, Deloitte’s V-P and head, HR. Capgemini introduced it even earlier.
Child psychiatrist Amit Sen believes the leave is important for “bonded families”. But India Inc’s still taking baby steps towards creating more Papa-time. Says Mahalakshmi R, GM HR for R&D at Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited, “Paternity leave is a fad.” Aventus Partners’ Tania Gooptu explains, “The leave doesn’t have an immediate impact on attracting or retaining talent in India.”