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In an effort to roll out inclusive policies for its employees, Meesho, India's social e-commerce company, has announced a 30-week gender-neutral parental leave policy on Thursday.

The policies also reflect evolving societal beliefs and ensure non-discriminatory benefits irrespective of employees’ gender or sexual identity. Meesho has nearly 1,000 employees.

In a statement, Meesho said that the policy has been designed with an outlook to provide fulfilling employee experiences, cognizant of the efforts in caregiving and growing a family.  

"The 30-week leave policy applies equally to women, men, heterogenous or same-sex couples so they can stay present for their children and also does away with the differentiation between natural childbirth, adoption, and surrogacy," the startup's statement noted. 

The parental leave policy ensures non-discrimination irrespective of gender, sexual identity, marital status, or the circumstance of parenthood, and also covers live-in partners, it added. 

Meesho - which has raised funding from SoftBank, Prosus Ventures and Facebook, among others - said if the employee is a primary caregiver, they are eligible for leaves up to one year (30 weeks fully paid leave and 25 per cent pay for the next three months. 

If the employee is a secondary caregiver, they can avail up to 30 days of leave (applicable up to one year from adoption or childbirth), it added. 

“We are really excited about the future - because we are looking at the Policy not as a document alone but as a powerful resource that Meeshoites can tap into for help, assistance, and empathy as they navigate their careers and lives. 

“Most significantly, we have used this policy revamp to simplify the benefits and flexibility based on the caregiver's role, rather than gender so Meeshoites can be entirely present for their family," Meesho Chief HR Officer Ashish Kumar Singh said. 

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