A policy initiated by WoMen@Leapfrog
WoMen@Leapfrog is a guild that creates a support group for women within Leapfrog. It is an open platform to share concerns and discuss ideas to uplift women in general. With the help from the guild members, Leapfrog drafted an upgraded leave policy back in March 2021. This includes extended maternity leave, revised paternity leave, and as well as the introduction of menstrual leave.
The maternity leave was extended from 60 days fully paid leave to 90 days, which they can avail of before or after childbirth. On top of that, Leapfroggers who are expecting a child can also choose to work from home for 180 days, within which they can opt for 90 days of 6 hours of work either remotely or from the office.
As for dads, they can take 15 days of paid leave with additional 30 days of work-from-home provision.
Since the announcement, many Leapfroggers have welcomed new family members. In this crucial phase, Leapfrog’s maternity and paternity leave continues to support Leapfroggers with a much-needed break from professional life and care for themselves and their family.
We asked some Leapfroggers to share their overall thoughts about the impact created by the leave policy.
How has this leave helped you balance work and being a parent?
Returning to work after being home with a new baby is “a transition that’s like no other.” As a new parent, the last thing you should be worrying about is work— and on this, Leapfrog has your back! We asked our Leapfroggers about their experience and how maternity leave has helped them take care of themselves and their little ones better. Here are their responses.
6hr workdays have been a great transition back to work after having a new baby, and it has let me adapt into work at the pace I wanted. – Rajiya Rijal Shrestha, Senior Project Manager
The first few weeks were nerve-wracking. I couldn’t have imagined coming back to work and operating normally. But thanks to the policy, I was able to be there with my wife and my baby when they needed me the most. I was able to be there constantly and take care of the two. – Swapnil Acharya, Creative Director
I was fortunate enough to receive leave for a month after my child’s birth, which was a special leave than the regular ten days for paternity leave. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been having not taken an extended leave. Balancing work and being a parent would have been highly stressful. At least two weeks gives us time to think about getting back to work and prioritizing accordingly. – Pratik Shrestha, Director, Project Management
What are the challenges in coming back to work after many months and adjusting to work-life with the added responsibility of being a working parent?
New parents steadily move towards getting back to work after taking a break for months. But the responsibility of being a parent is still intact. Leapfroggers share their thoughts on how the flexible leave policies helped them juggle work-life balance after being a parent and how they could give time for their family and do the work at their comfort.
Coming back to work after maternity leave is challenging beyond what words can express! However, the new adjusted work hours provided some room to breathe. I could select the time of day for work depending on my baby’s daily schedule, especially until she was six months old. – Rajiya
Daddy duties often punctuate work hours, and I am thankful to take a two-hour break in the afternoon and continue my work till the evening. This has helped me prioritize family overwork, and at the same time, complete my work without any hurdles. – Swapnil
My wife had 6-month maternity leave, and I was working from home due to COVID. It wasn’t very challenging to come back to work after a month of delivery as we have a very flexible environment built upon trust. With the advent of the Women in Leapfrog group and better policies for women, it was possible to implement the policy. I’d say it has been super helpful in times like these. – Pratik
Has this leave policy helped you get peace of mind about your career?
As we give our time and efforts to care for our children, most of us don’t get to focus on our careers. It may even lead to quitting your job. Such a policy (paternity/maternity leaves) and flexible working hours for both parents can secure our careers.
I’m not sure if I could 100 percent credit the leave policy for giving me peace of mind regarding my career. However, it does support me, and it also motivates me. I may not have the best of both worlds, but it pushes me to juggle both family and work life. – Rajiya
I think we’re doing better than most companies that eject the father from the equation. I am thankful that Leapfrog acknowledges that mom and dad share equal responsibility in taking care of a child, especially newborns who need constant care and supervision. – Swapnil
Certainly, I didn’t have to overthink about the work except for in the few earlier days. Well, I always used to think of quitting my job if I had a baby. But, with my team’s support and the family-friendly policy that we have in Leapfrog, I didn’t have to think about quitting. How awesome is that? – Pratik
How do you think the provision of this leave policy will help new parents in the future?
Such a policy will undoubtedly help new parents to handle work-life balance effectively. Every company should take a step to create a convenient environment for new parents to enjoy their parenthood without worrying much about their work life.
Yes, it will help new parents. I would still advocate for more extended paternity leave and a more robust policy until the baby is exclusively breastfeeding/formula feeding. – Rajiya Rijal Shrestha
Because we understand, next time somebody is expecting or has delivered a baby, we know how to make that person comfortable at work. Also, happy to share experiences and need be, start a group to help them out. E.g., I was constantly pinging my colleague, and I think we need to pursue this culture. – Swapnil Acharya
Oh boy! This policy will let the new parents enjoy their parenthood to the fullest by nurturing their child during the earliest stages of life. This will enhance the motivation of the staff with the realization that I need to perform better for the company that takes care of my family and me.
To ensure all the women at Leapfrog have the opportunity to take care of their health and better cope with painful periods, Leapfrog has introduced six days of fully paid menstrual leave.
How helpful has menstruation leave been for you? How has it affected your work life?
Isn’t it relieving to get a day off when you are in pain during periods? It helps to take care of our health and reenergize to get back to work once we feel better.
Periods themselves are one of the most challenging phases in a woman’s life. Especially talking about myself, I usually face cramps and mood swings during the time. So, working when the body is in pain doesn’t make my day productive at all. Getting a day off without worrying about work indeed gave me more energy to wake up tomorrow and plan for a more productive time without taking any medications. – Erica Joshi, Engineering Coordinator
Heavy menstrual bleeding and period cramps make it challenging to carry on with my day-to-day activities. I feel drained during my period, and nothing productive can come out from you if you feel weak or exhausted. Taking a day off during periods, not thinking about work, and taking care of my health has helped me collect energy and become productive the next day. – Supriya Amatya, Software Engineer
I get crazy mood swings when on periods. The slightest inconvenience makes me frustrated. So, working with cramps and mood swings is not productive at all for me. Getting a day off to rest, basking in the sun surely did help me get back to work with a little more energy the next day. – Safalya Shrestha, Analyst, Business Development
Some people say that having menstrual leave is a step back to workplace equality rather than moving forward. What are your thoughts on this?
A project or a company as a whole becomes successful with everyone’s effort. A policy like ‘Menstrual leave’ will indeed promote workplace equality and facilitate better results.
People who face it only understand how difficult it is to get out and start their daily schedule, with all those painful sleepless nights one goes through. Not everybody is going to understand this, and it’s okay, not their fault as well. – Erica
I don’t think taking a day off will make the workplace less productive. It’s not like all the women will take leave on the same day. Some people might not understand what it feels like to work during the worst days of a month. – Supriya
People, in general, don’t understand how difficult it is even to get out of bed when you get your periods. I think it’s only fair to empathize with women on this. – Safalya
Do you think women would misuse this leave even if they aren’t having a difficult time during their period?
A policy like this is of utmost necessity for which it helps employees take better care of themselves. We all should be proud of a policy like menstrual leave and there is no doubt if anyone would misuse it in any condition.
I take the leave only when I have to, that is the first or the second day, and also only face terrible cramps that make me feel weak. So, I assume that’s the same for everyone, and I do not think anyone would misuse it. – Erica
I usually take leave when I have awful cramps and when my workload is low. So, in my opinion, I don’t think women would misuse this leave as they can understand. – Supriya
It depends, I guess. I only use menstrual leave when I have bad cramps. So I assume others do the same as well. – Safalya
How important do you think the menstruation leave policy is for any office?
Even a day off will help when we are in pain and low in energy to do anything. So, it indeed is an important step that all companies are suggested to take.
Women go through pain that’s mild to very severe. Some even face symptoms like cramps, which are a throbbing, cramping pain in the lower abdomen, lower back pain, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches. This surely is an adamant time for most women. – Erica
During this time, when you know that your company provides you the menstruation leave policy, for you to forget about everything and rest! It indeed makes us feel that we matter to our company and care for us.
Most women might suffer from terrible period cramps, and some medications won’t even take action. In such a case, they might need extra care and rest. So it would be nice if someone understood what it feels like to be in pain for no fault of yours in the form of period leave. – Supriya
It is crucial to have a menstrual leave policy for any office. For companies who want their employees to perform their best, it’s tough to work when you’re menstruating, having stabbing pain inside your stomach, back, and legs. – Safalya
Leapfrog continues to put relentless effort into fostering a culture of equality and trust, and building a workspace where everyone can feel safe, heard, and accepted.