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Diageo announces enhanced wellness policy for employees in India

Diageo,Global spirits majoron Tuesday announced an enhanced wellness policy for its employees in Indiathat covers all employees regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, including LGBT. Diageo Indiasaid the policy, effective July 2020, will provide equal medical and leave benefits to same sex and live-in partners as part of its commitment to promote an inclusive and diverse working environment.

"With the enhanced policy we are revising and expanding the definition of 'family' to include 'same sex' and 'live-in' partners," the company said in a statement. Moreover, the policy will provide medical coverage for gender confirmation procedures. Similarly, surrogacy and fertility treatment medical benefits will be made available for all employees, it added.

"At Diageo, championing inclusion and diversity is central to our purpose of celebrating life, every day, everywhere. Our strength lies is in our diversity, with each person bringing their distinct experience, talent and culture, that is integral to our business success," Diageo IndiaManaging Director and CEO Anand Kripalusaid. Diageo IndiaCHRO Aarif Aziz said in the last five six years there has been a lot of work happening in the company on how to take the journey of inclusion forward.

"In the last five years our global board looks very different now, from being a all-while male to a very diverse board. We have a similar situation on how we have changed the board here in India. If you look at our gender representation it has significantly changed," Aziz told PTI. Last year, 43 per cent of the company's new recruitment were women and more than 25 per cent of leadership position in the company is filled by women now, he added.

As the company takes the journey of inclusion forward, the agenda needed to be expanded, he said adding the idea was "how do you really focus on hiring and reflect the inclusive culture and how do you really start creating an environment which is inclusive for the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) LGBTcommunity as well."