Tata Steel announces new HR policy aimed at LGBTQ+ inclusion

In an attempt to promote equality, diversity and inclusion at workplace, Tata Steel has introduced its new HR policy allowing LGBTQ+ employees and their partners to avail the HR benefits, that had earlier been available only to employees with partners from the opposite gender. Some additional benefits are also incorporated for the LGBTQ+ employees. 

The new policy covers employees from LGBTQ+ communities and their partners. The word “partner” includes people of same-sex living together as married couple. 

As reported by the Hindu BusinessLine, under the expanded diversity and inclusion (D&I) policy, Tata Steel employees can now avail a host of benefits such as family medical cover, health check-ups, adoption leave, child-care leave, parental leave and integrated employee assistance programme. A financial aid will also be made available to the employees for gender reassignment surgery along with a 30-day special leave. In addition to these benefits, employees can also avail the Tata Executive Holiday Plan honeymoon package.

A domestic travel allowance will also be provided to the employees besides temporary transfer and relocation policy. Transfer and relocation policy permits partners of LGBTQ+ employees to travel with them in case of a transfer and familiarize with the new location.

In a media statement, Vice-President (HRM), Tata Steel, Suresh Dutt Tripathi said, “Providing equitable policies and benefits creates a level playing field for all employees and sets common standards across locations.” He further added, “Research shows that people are more engaged with and committed to an organisation that has policies protecting LGBTQ+ employees. In fact, enacting LGBTQ+ inclusive policies has been shown to decrease the instances of LGBTQ+ discrimination at work.”

Other than the above mentioned benefits, the policy entitles the employees to be eligible for participating in any company event where earlier only spouses of opposite genders were allowed. The company also included the LGBTQ+ employees in its Take-2 Initiative, a diversity initiative for a career come-back targeted only to spouses. Now, any partner on a career break will be eligible to apply.

In an official statement, Tata Steel said, “With its vision to provide equal opportunity to the employees, it has been the endeavour of the company to create an enabling workforce for all diverse groups, respecting and embracing the differences in the individuals.”

After the Supreme Court on September 6, 2018 decriminalized homosexuality, corporations in India are making way for employees of the LGBTQ+ communities to be a part of their workforce. 

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