Nine Swedish MNCs in Singapore vow to double paid paternity leave, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Nine Swedish MNCs in Singapore vow to double paid paternity leave

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Nine Swedish multinationals in Singapore, including pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and clothing retailer H&M, have pledged to double their paid paternity leave benefits from two to four weeks, starting next year.

The #DoubleUp pledge is a step towards gender equality and creating a corporate culture that encourages fathers to be there for their babies, said the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Singapore (SwedCham) yesterday.

Other SwedCham members that have taken the pledge are engineering company ABB, industrial equipment maker Atlas Copco, design firm Bolon x The Andrews Group, appliance manufacturer Electrolux, supply chain management services provider Mentor Media, beauty company Oriflame and bearing and seal maker SKF.

The move was inspired by Swedish furniture giant Ikea, which had in 2017 doubled its paid paternity leave benefits from two weeks to four.

Under current Singapore laws, working fathers are entitled to two weeks of government-paid paternity leave, while mothers get 16 weeks.

Ms Oldouz Mirzaie, chief executive and regional manager of H&M South Asia and Pacific, said that by being part of the pledge, H&M hopes to encourage more businesses to take gender equality seriously.

"A collective effort is needed to change mindsets," she said.

The nine companies that have signed the pledge are inviting others to join in and encourage men to participate actively in caregiving roles, allowing women a more equal footing in the workplace, said SwedCham. - THE STRAITS TIMES