Firms Hire Fewer Women To Save Themselves From Paid Maternity Leave Expense

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Today, when the government is trying best to ensure women equality and empowerment, the situation isn’t good in the corporate world. According to a survey by Local Circles, India’s early startups and small companies are not hiring women to avoid the high cost associated with a six-month paid maternity leave government policy.

According to the survey in the last 12 months, 49% of firms have hired very few or zero women. This survey got conducted on over 8,500 companies and small startups. 33% of the companies stated that the number of woman hiring was the same compared to the previous year. At the same time, 16% said that they had added more female staff to the company. However, 44% of companies said that this policy of the government should remain intact, and it is favourable for women.

Startups and Small Businesses in the survey stated that for companies whose annual turnover is less than Rs 10 crore, the duration of paid maternity leave should get reduced from six months to three months. According to this survey, ‘if this gets implemented, the startup and SME industry will be encouraged to give equal opportunities to women.

The government has made it mandatory for companies to bear the entire cost of maternity benefit. For this reason, small firms, early startups and few big companies are avoiding hiring women employees. These women lie in the age group of 25-35 years.

Benefits Given By Maternity Bill Act

Parental leave map

According to, maternity bill act the paid maternity leave should be 26 weeks. After the expiry week of 26 weeks, this bill allows women to work from home for the next few weeks. Twelve weeks of paid leave is given to mother adopting a child. That many governments around the world bear the full or partial maternity leave cost incurred by the employer. Australia, Canada bears total cost whereas the Singapore government bear the expense of 8 weeks.