Paternity leave gaining prevalence in India: Mercer

New Delhi,  India is among top 10 countries globally with highest percentage of companies providing paternity and adoption leave above the statutory requirement, says a report.

According to Mercer Global Parental Leave report 2016, 38 per cent of companies globally provide paid paternity leave above the statutory minimum and several countries mandate a parental leave program that may be used by either parent.

In Asia Pacific, 41 per cent of the companies provide paid paternity leave above the statutory minimum with India being among the top ten countries with the highest percentage of companies providing paternity and adoption leaves above the statutory requirement in the world.

"Paternity leave in India has been gaining prevalence over the last few years; we have seen the percentage of organisations providing this benefit rise from about 60 per cent in 2014 to 75 per cent in 2016," Kangan Shekhar, India Benefits Product Head, Mercer said.

While the number of days provided have remained fairly consistent over the years at five days, many more organisations are allowing employees to avail the leave from the date of joining, Shekhar added.

Meanwhile, adoption leave in India, like paternity leave has gained prevalence over the last few years with the percentage of organisations providing this benefit increasing from 33 per cent in 2014 to 43 per cent in 2016.

"While most organisations provide 45 days as adoption leave to female employees, a few organisations provide the same entitlement as Maternity leave, which is 90 days.

Additionally, many companies are also extending adoption leave benefits to male employees indicating the increased importance of parental leave policies," Shekhar said.

As the provisions of parental leave policies expand beyond traditional maternity leave, some employers have chosen to implement a global policy, the report noted.

Among companies with a global policy, 19 per cent cover all four types of leave -- maternity, paternity, adoption and parental. Moreover, of the two-thirds of companies that do not have a global policy, 12 per cent are considering implementing one in the future.

According to Mercer's 2016 Global Parental Leave report, two-thirds (67 per cent) of companies worldwide provide family care leave to their employees. Family care leave is time off (paid or unpaid) for employees to care for their loved ones, including children, spouses, parents, parents-in-law, or siblings.

The length of leave is typically a few days fully paid, although some countries allow for an extended period of unpaid