This MNC bank in India sets an example by including same-sex partners of employees in medical cover

Source: 1, 2
Despite the continuous discrimination LGBTQ community faces in India, there are few, far in-between, instances that reinstate our hope in a better tomorrow for a group that has been marginalized for far too long.

Setting an example in the area of 'workplace equality', the Indian division of Royal Bank of Scotland has extended its medial hospitalization scheme to the same-sex partners of their employees, opening the doors for other mainstream ventures to follow the lead in their step.

The organization-facilitated hospitalization schemes generally cover the dependent family members of the employees and the spousal support has been largely limited to partners of the opposite sex only.

This does hold a great deal of importance in a country, where an IPC section like 377 exists - which criminalizes consensual sex among adults of the same gender.

In a country where gay people are still vastly discriminated against and can't take advantage of any of the benefits provided to their straight counterparts, RBS's attempt and liberal move to bring inclusivity in the area of medical benefits calls for a positive change.

This makes RBS - one of the first companies in India to extend their medical/hospitalization schemes to same-sex partners of their employees. A first, and hopefully not the last.

Speaking on the move, Vikas Goel, lead (diversity & inclusion LGBT stream) and head of engineering transformation, RBS India,  pointed out that "the objective behind their move is to mainstream the LGBT community and to protect them from the various challenges they face in society."

"More such initiatives are in the pipeline," he further affirmed.

“We are all aware of the social issues that the LGBT community faces. The attempt is to make them inclusive. We want to encourage our employees to come out freely on their orientation with no reason for fear, judgment or reservation. At the same time, we will ensure that privacy and confidentiality is maintained. Our endeavour is to ensure that we do the right thing and that all our policies treat all our employees equally and give them a fair opportunity to grow,” said Goel.

More power to RBS India. And here's to hoping that other organizations follow the lead...soon. 

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