Standing Orders on WFH: Formalisation Of WFH To Spur Second-Career Women To Re-enter Workforce


The Labour Ministry on January 1 published its draft standing orders on work from home (WFH) for the services sector under the new Industrial Relations Code.

Experts believe that the formalisation of work from home can play an instrumental role in encouraging women to re-enter the workforce as second-career women.

Second-career women are women professionals who take a break from their work or career to attend to their domestic or other responsibilities and are willing to rejoin the workforce after a break.

“The statistics around female labour force participation in India show that women exit their workplaces in substantial numbers particularly in their mid-career stage – close to 48 percent. The talent deficit that loss of women talent creates is huge, resulting in a leaky pipeline leading up to fewer women in leadership roles. Formalising the access to work from home is a great step to contain and reverse this trend. This would enable the careers of thousands of second career women a talent pool that is geographically distributed,” said Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, Avtar Group.

Work from home (WFH) is a win-win situation for both employees and employers. When an employee has the flexibility to work at one’s own space and pace coupled with increased ability to integrate work and life, there is increased productivity. And when the organisation displays commitment and support to employees, attrition rates are contained, she noted.

Data from the Working Mother and Avtar Best Companies for Women in India 2020 study show that the maternity attrition rate at these companies is just 9 percent- this can be attributed to a structured flexi work models they offer to women to resume careers post maternity, establishing the role of work from home as an important enabler for women seeking sustainable careers, Rajesh added.

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