Standard Chartered extends staff mediclaim to LGBTQ partners
Mumbai: Standard Chartered Bank has decided to extend medical and domestic relocation benefits to LGBTQ partners of all employees in India. The employees can now declare an LGBTQ partner as an eligible beneficiary under the bank’s medical reimbursement policy. The declared partner will also get covered under the domestic relocation policy.
In 2019, another multinational bank Citi had extended family benefits to all domestic partners, including live-in partners and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer) partners. In the corporate sector, many companies — including Godrej Group, Accenture and IBM — have been offering medical benefits to same-sex partners. For multinationals, this is part of a global policy on being more inclusive.
Standard Chartered said it has been taking successive steps in ensuring an equal and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ Communities employees over the past year, starting with the launch of its employee resource group (ERG) for LGBTQ and allies, called GLAD (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, Queer, allies and advocates).
After the launch of GLAD, the lender organised multiple sensitization sessions for employees with the help of activists and NGOs. It also made available toolkits for employees to raise their awareness on LGBTQ issues and define the role they can play in ensuring all colleagues feel welcome at the workplace. The bank also participated in the first LGBTQ job fair in Mumbai held last year and the Mumbai Pride this year.
According to insurers, it is possible to extend family benefits to LGBTQ partners in group policies as the corporate takes the responsibility of obtaining a declaration from the employee and identifies the beneficiaries in advance.
“We are committed to having an inclusive, safe and open environment for all LGBTQ colleagues in the bank. Equity in employee benefits is one of the critical initiatives in ensuring that these workplace standards are met.
Treating all colleagues, regardless of their sexual orientation, with dignity and respect is the right thing to do,” said Sachin Gupta, HR head, Standard Chartered India.