Dec 20, 2019

After 26 weeks gender neutral parental leave policy, Novartis India extends insurance benefit plans to LGBTI, single parents, live-in partners and their dependent children

  • Extends medical cover to all employees equally
  • No ceiling on number of dependent children covered
  • No age cap for differently abled children

Mumbai, December 20, 2019 – Further to the gender neutral parental policy announced earlier this year, Novartis India has introduced a gender neutral insurance benefit plan for all its employees. Employees will now have the option to include either a same-sex partner or live-in partner. Coverage extends to children adopted through a legal process by employees, including single and same-sex LGBTI employees.

The plan which comes into effect from January 1, 2020, reaffirms the Novartis India commitment towards Diversity and Inclusion. The broad framework of the insurance benefit plan is a uniform cover for all employees. Coverage extends to all dependent children up to 23 years with no age bar for differently abled children. 

“Novartis is a science-led, people-driven organization where people are key to its success. As a progressive employer, Novartis is committed to the Diversity and Inclusion that the organization offers in line with the UN LGBTI Standards of Conduct. We believe that this will certainly enrich our workplace. As a company, we stand up for greater inclusion of LGBTI people because when each of us feels included, we all benefit,” says Sanjay Murdeshwar, Country President, Novartis in India.

According to Anusia Pillay, Country Head People & Organization, Novartis in India, “At Novartis we view Diversity and Inclusion as the impetus for driving innovation and business performance. We look to embed it in everything we do. Our aspiration is to honor our commitment to uphold human rights and ensure we have a more inclusive workplace. We are focusing on understanding inclusion barriers and taking action to address them by demonstrating active support through policy changes.”

Earlier this month, Novartis in India was certified as a Top Employer by the Top Employer Institute, India for its exceptional employee conditions and for always striving to optimize its employee practices and develop its employees. The Top Employers Institute is the global authority on recognizing excellence in people practices.

In July 2019, Novartis introduced a gender neutral parental leave policy of 26 weeks leave with retrospective effect to employees who became parents on or after January 30, 2019. It applies to birthing and non-birthing parents in the case of birth, adoption and surrogacy. 

About Novartis India

Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company with a strong India footprint, we work to develop and market transformative treatments for people in areas of great medical need. About 8,000 people work at Novartis offices around the country. Find out more at

Novartis India Media Relations


Svetlana Pinto 
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Liana Albuquerque 
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