Gender Reaffirmation Policy – Introduced at all the locations of Vedanta Aluminium, the new policy provides monetary and other support to transgender employees for gender reassignment surgeries.
New Delhi, 7th August 2023: In a one-of-its-kind, inclusive step within the domestic manufacturing sector, Vedanta BALCO, renowned as India’s leading aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, has introduced a ground-breaking ‘Gender Reaffirmation Leaves and Compensation Policy’ for LGBTQ+ employees employed at its operations. The policy has been introduced for staff members at all the locations of Vedanta Aluminium.
The policy supports all employees contemplating the transformative journey of gender reassignment through surgery and is a significant addition to the company’s extensive Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts. Through this, Vedanta BALCO also seeks to inspire progressive action across the Indian manufacturing landscape, which has traditionally witnessed a low diversity ratio. Already, two transgender professionals have availed of the support offered through the policy.
Vedanta BALCO’s new ‘Gender Reaffirmation Leaves and Compensation Policy’ supports transgender employees with a one-time grant of 2 lakh rupees, which will help cover expenses related to gender reassignment surgery. Additionally, it offers a 30-day paid leave of absence, ensuring a comforting transition period focused on self-care to every individual who opts to avail of the policy. The company has also established world-class residential townships with several amenities for employees. Together, they add to the supportive environment created by the company, actively encouraging individual growth and self-discovery among its diverse employees.
Underscoring the significance of the initiative, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Wholetime Director, Vedanta BALCO said, “The policy will be a gamechanger in enhancing opportunities for the transgender community, creating an enabling environment that allows them to explore new avenues for sustainable livelihoods. Vedanta BALCO is committed to a workplace where everyone feels empowered to be their true selves, their unique strengths are harnessed, and their aspirations are nurtured.”
Gender Reaffirmation Policy at Balco
Appreciating the initiative, Ms. Vidya Rajput, a member of the Transgender Welfare Society and the President of Chhattisgarh Mitwa Sankalp Samiti, said, “I wholeheartedly appreciate Vedanta BALCO’s commitment to supporting its transgender employees in their gender reaffirmation journeys. In recognizing the significance of gender affirmation, the company stands as a pioneering business in the country, setting a remarkable example for its peers to follow.”
Vedanta Aluminium employs nearly 30 transgender employees across all its locations, including 18 transgender employees from Vedanta BALCO, in diverse roles ranging from asset security to materials movement to hospitality. To ease the transgender community’s accelerated transition from the margins of society to major manufacturing operations, Vedanta BALCO under Vedanta Aluminium’s vision, has adopted a three-pronged approach involving:
• Evaluating and identifying transgender professionals displaying the appropriate skills needed for working within a major manufacturing operation through skill mapping studies
• Comprehensive skill augmentation for new recruits focused on operational skills, soft skills and business knowledge
• Establishing an inclusive, enabling atmosphere through gender-sensitization sessions on the social and psychological challenges of transgender people, recommended ways of working and infrastructural augmentations.