India’s largest private-sector employer – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) with over four lakh employees becomes the first Tata Group Company to introduce health insurance policy cover to its LGBT employees. The company updated about the new policy to its employees through an email explaining new changes that will benefit the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of the company.
The new policy will cover 50 percent of the total cost of gender/sex-reassignment surgery up to a maximum of Rs 2 lakh under the insurance. The policy redefines ‘spouse’ as ‘partner’ to broaden the scope for covering same-sex partners. This step by the TCS for the inclusion of the LGBTQ into the workplace was welcomed by the community.
Recently, the government has passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2019 for the protection of the right of transgender people. Although several Indian corporates have already joined the progressive movements for the rights of the LGBTQ community, it would be exemplary on the part of India Inc to join that list.
TCS has joined the list of companies that cover the families of the employees with same-sex partners through health insurance including RBS India, Capgemini India, Citibank, and several others. Some of them have even extended their policies to live-in partners as well. All these companies define spouse irrespective of marital status and sex/gender.
At the macro level around the world, almost 94 percent of the Global Fortune 500 companies offer several benefits to their LGBT employees. In contrast, at a micro-level, only a small proportion of companies across the world do not offer any benefits to the community. In India, although there are no such data available on the extension of the benefits to the LGBTQ community by the corporates, such steps by the giant players will inspire other companies to take such necessary steps in that direction.