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Employer Meesho allows new parents to take gender-neutral leave

Meesho, a social e-commerce platform, has introduced a 30-week gender-neutral parental policy that enables all employees to take parental leave regardless of their gender, sexual identity or marital status.

Bangalore-based Meesho wants to ensure that its employees are entitled to the same benefits that let them spend quality time with their children. Gender-neutral parental leave enables parents to choose or swap who is their children’s primary caregiver in the first year of the child being born or adopted

Gender-neutral parental leave policy

A gender-neutral parental leave policy offers parental leave support to the primary caregiver, regardless of their gender. In some cases, it may offer equal support to both the primary and secondary and extend this support to parents if they adopt, foster or have surrogacy arrangements. Traditional parental leave policies outline the support provided by the employer to their employees following the arrival of their new child. This policy can offer varying levels of support for parents and usually tends to assume that women are the children’s primary caregivers.

But the Covid-19 pandemic has encouraged many companies to reimagine the workplace and re-evaluate traditional working practices. The pandemic has also caused employees to reassess what is important to them and have become more proactive in asking to change their contracts or even take time away from work.

Eliminating parent gender discrimination

Meesho aims to avoid any differentiation between surrogacy, adoption and natural childbirth. Its new parental policy ensures no discrimination regarding gender, marital status, sexual identity or the circumstances behind an employee becoming a parent, such as surrogacy, adoption or natural childbirth. Employees who are primary caregivers to their children can take leave for up to one year. This comprises 30 weeks fully-paid leave and 25% pay for the following three months. Secondary caregivers can take up to 20 days of leave within one year of the child’s birth or adoption.

Employers introducing gender-neutral parent leave

Meesho is just the latest company to offer gender-neutral leave to parents. A growing number of employers are offering gender-neutral parental leave to better support working parents and help them recruit and retain the best talent. Vodafone and Standard Life Aberdeen have also announced plans to equalise parental leave for men and women when they have a child along with:


Car giant Volvo has announced it offers 24 weeks of paid parental leave to its employees, regardless of gender, as part of its Family Bond policy. All employees with at least 12 months’ service are entitled to 24 weeks of parental leave at 80% of their basic pay.

Goldman Sachs

The global investment bank Goldman Sachs has also enhanced its existing employee benefits package by offering 20 weeks of paid leave to all parents working for them, regardless of their caregiver status or gender.

Vodacom Group

Mobile communications company Vodacom Group introduced a gender-neutral parental leave policy across its South African-based organisation. All employees can take 16 weeks of parental leave on full pay within the first 18 months of becoming a parent and covers surrogacy, adoption and natural childbirth. Vodacom employees are also able to take a phased approach to their return to work after parental leave.


Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is offering 52 weeks leave and equal pay for all new parents working for the organisation, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender, including adopting employees.


Employees working for UK based insurance company Aviva can take the same amount of paid and unpaid parental leave, regardless of how they became a parent, sexual orientation or gender. All UK employees can take a year of parental leave after their child has arrived with 26 weeks at full basic pay.


The multinational tech company Cyient has rolled out a policy that enables employees, both adoptive and birth parents of any gender, to take up to 12 weeks of fully paid parental leave after the adoption or birth of their child.

Further advice

If you need help or advice with your parental leave policies, our team can help. Get in touch with us online or call 0844 324 5840.



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