An HR deparment as a business entity isn’t the same as one as a people entity.
These two entities look at maternity leaves from two absolutely antipodes. One looks at it as a sheer loss – a resource getting paid without contribution to organization top-lines for the duration of maternity leave, while the other looks at this as an investment in a skilled resource, leading to sustained engagement with organization from a long term perspective.
A back of the envelope calculation – mathematical – will immediate advise us that an organization in India is losing a lot more than earlier, given that maternity leave has been extended from three months to six months. The computation that a business side works on is as follows, and is fairly simple to understand and identify with.
Weekends – fifty two – accounts for around three and a half months. Leaves, holidays and so on – another month. Add to this, six months of maternity. Thus, totally, one ends up looking at an annual salary being made available to a resource, with just a month and a half available to add to revenue. Shocking? Yes, to an organization that employs a huge women force.
While the government undoubtedly has the best interests of women that are already employed at heart, is it really smart in pushing this move across organizations – both public and private? Is it not actually denying opportunities to women who wish to get employed?
Yes, recruitment agencies are full of this buzz, that Job Descriptions, the holy grail of hiring for a role, now has unwritten mandates that warrant hiring of women who are of a certain age only. Or a certain marital status. Or of a (hold your breath) sexual preference too. Or worse, focus on a gender.
Conversations with organizations and hiring managers reveal, that they are treading very carefully around this mandate that the government has passed on to them to implement. Incidents are also shared, albeit in bated breath, of careful culling of women employees that engage in holy bonds of matrimony as a full-fledged employee of an organization. And also how KRA/KPI structures are now being gently reset to push these candidates to the “perfect” side of a bell curve.
But contract staffing agents aren’t really complaining are they? They’re laughing all the way to the bank, with no liabilities beyond a “you’re with me till client decides to dispense of your service” clause.
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