Money & Banking

Novartis India to offer staff ‘gender-neutral’ insurance

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on December 20, 2019 Published on December 20, 2019

From January 1, 2020, employees at drugmaker Novartis India will be covered by a gender-neutral insurance benefit plan that will cover LGBTI, single parents, live-in partners and their dependent children.

The latest inclusive move is a follow-up on its gender-neutral parental policy announced earlier this year. “Employees will now have the option to include either a same-sex partner or live-in partner,” a note from the company said.

“Coverage would extend to children adopted through a legal process by employees, including single and same-sex LGBTI employees,” said the company.

The broad framework of the insurance benefit plan is a uniform cover for all employees that extended to all dependent children up to 23 years with no age bar for differently-abled children, the note added.

“As a progressive employer, Novartis is committed to the Diversity and Inclusion that the organisation offers in line with the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct,” said Sanjay Murdeshwar, Country President, Novartis in India. “We stand up for greater inclusion of LGBTI people because when each of us feels included, we all benefit,” he added.

Parental leave

In July, Novartis had introduced a gender-neutral parental leave policy of 26 weeks leave with retrospective effect to employees who became parents on or after January 30, 2019. It applied to birthing and non-birthing parents in the case of birth, adoption and surrogacy.

This was part of a new global parental leave policy rolled out in a phased manner to cover Novartis’ employees across the world by 2021, the drugmaker said.

Published on December 20, 2019
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