Tata Consumer Products, the FMCG arm of the Tata Group has launched the Caregivers Support Program ‘CUSP’ for its employees, to help them through the parenthood journey. The program is designed to balance the professional and personal life of employees, who have just entered the parenthood stage of their lives. The CUSP program will act as a guide to support and help new parents, managers, and HR colleagues for the journey ahead through policies, benefits, and comprehensive handbooks. These handbooks will guide all managers and the HR team at Tata Consumer Products to demonstrate behaviors that are apt at different timelines of the parenthood stage.
Talking to HRKatha, Amit Chincholikar, global CHRO, Tata Consumer Products reveals that the ‘CUSP’ program is something which is designed with updated feedbacks from the employees. He also mentions that ‘CUSP’ is the brainchild of Ruma Rao, vice president, employee engagement, DI and business excellence, Tata Consumer Products. “CUSP has been designed from the heart of the HR team at Tata Consumer Products,” says Chincholikar. “Earlier, we had policies such as maternity leave, but based on inputs from employees, we have added new benefits as part of the CUSP program — something like a handbook where timelines are created as guidelines for managers and the HR team; counseling sessions for better transition; or keep-in-touch days for better connect,” shares Rao.
Under the CUSP program, there are multiple offerings or benefits that new parents can enjoy at Tata Consumer Products. Day-care facilities are available for employees through the Company’s tie-ups with other day-care providers. Employees will also be reimbursed for any day-care services they opt for outside. Under the special benefits for women employees, mothers are allowed to work from home or follow flexible and reduced working hours once they join back from maternity leave. During the last trimester, the Company will also provide transportation services to expecting mothers through pick up and drop facilities or they will be reimbursed for their commuting expenses. Also during the period of transition, new mothers will be provided with a buddy, such as a confidante to lend them support through this phase. During the leave, if employees want to stay in touch with their managers during the leave period, they can do so with “keep-in-touch” days. “Women employees on long maternity leave may sometimes feel isolated and disconnected from their teams or may want to catch up on work and find out how everything is going. The keep-in-touch days are meant for such women and new mothers as well as their managers so that they do not lose touch,” clarifies Chincholikar.
Apart from that, counseling services or sessions are also available for new parents to help them clear their doubts, seek professional guidance through the transition and provide a smooth and happy parenthood journey to them. This will also help the new parents at Tata Consumer Products to achieve a better work-life balance. The Company is also providing a nursing lounge for mothers at their Bengaluru and Kolkata offices, and other locations, wherever it is required. Apart from ensuring work-life balance while employees move into another phase of their lives, the internal communication and messages pertaining to this program revolved around spreading awareness amongst people that parenthood is precious and such joy-giving moments do not come frequently in life. It is better to use the opportunity to spend as much time with one’s partner and child and enjoy the moment to the fullest.
As Chincholikar points out, it is typical of men to think that if the mother is the only primary caregiver for the child. Men need to understand their role as fathers on becoming a parent. “This is why CUSP ensures that fathers also get time to give undivided attention to their newborns as well as their partners during these days. Earlier, it was treated as a matter of ‘compliance’, but now the mindset has to change to ‘commitment’ when it comes to availing these benefits,” shares Chincholikar. Rao adds, “In fact, now taking time off from work during the parenthood phase of life has almost become a mandate for all employees at Tata Consumer Products, with their managers also encouraging them to do so.” The policy is applicable to all employees of Tata Consumer Products in India.