Caring for the Women at Work
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The last few years have seen a significant rise in women workforce who have made their mark in the workplace and have also earned their spots in leadership roles at leading companies. This has brought a positive impact on our economy as well as income contribution to a household where we have working women. With per capita income on the rise alongside a rising standard of living, many families in the metro and tier 1 cities feel a major jolt as soon as they set their steps into family planning. The woman progressing and peaking in their careers are the most challenged when it comes to striking the ideal balance between managing the office and the home. This situation further intensifies when a woman has to handle the birth and upbringing of her child.
With multiple initiatives taken by the Government of India and introduction of Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, women’s leave entitlements have increased from 12 to 26 weeks which proves as a small respite in their journey of life. The concern of looking after the new member in the family still tops the priority of the women and hence many decide to drop out instead of securing the extended maternity leave benefits.
Corporates today understand this situation and are actively taking several steps to ensure that their women employee, who is now a mother, still strives to be their leading performer and gets all the support she needs to get back on the corporate turf. The Maternity Benefit Act also states that corporates with 50 or more employees must provide a DayCare centre and should allow the mothers to make four visits daily. This has put a lot of focus on providing DayCare facilities at corporate offices for women employees to manage the work-life balance better.
Catering to the need of the hour, we have to take a step of setting up DayCare centres at corporate offices for the children of employees ranging from six months to 17 months in age. There are three different verticals of DayCare centres, firstly ‘the onsite DayCare centre’ which is set up at the corporate office, wherein space for setting up DayCare centre is provided by the corporates and the centres are managed by experts in the field of early child-care. The second model is ‘near site DayCare centre’, wherein DayCare centre would be set up in the vicinity of more than one corporate office, and the kids of employees can use this facility. The third model, which is ‘community DayCare centre’, is very scalable, wherein existing pre-schools can are converted into DayCare centres by adding DayCare centre facilities to the premise.
The need to have a balanced personal and professional life is one that is familiar to every individual, but it is an essential ask for the working women of today. In a nuclear family setup, which is the trend of the modern age, both parents step out of their homes to work every day. Despite their busy work schedules, for every parent, especially mothers, a child’s well-being and development is of utmost priority. In such a situation a DayCare facility at the workplace puts a mothers mind at ease, and she can focus on her work with the assurance that her child is well protected in the care of experts just a few feet away.
The Bright Future
DayCare centres thus are set to go a long way in supporting the professional women in ensuring work-life balance. Currently, there are many DayCare centres which are operating in this segment and dominated by unorganised players. With the entry of the large chain of organised DayCare players, the offering and the quality of service would be significantly upgraded.
A DayCare centre at work would thus increase the productivity of women employees at work and their predictability of returning to work, and it would reduce the rate of their retention and also build confidence in women employees while choosing challenging careers.