Doubling Paid Paternity Leave for fathers–Which companies are implementing this and why?
9 Swedish multinational firms in Singapore have pledged to double their paid paternity leave benefits from 2 to 4 weeks starting in 2022.
The #Doubleup Pledge
This #Doubleup pledge is announced by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Singapore (SwedCham) as a move towards gender equality and creating a corporate culture to encourage fathers to be present for their newborns. The SwedCham members which have taken this pledge include pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, clothing retailer H&M, engineering firm ABB, industrial company Atlas Copco, design company Bolon x The Andrews Group, appliance manufacturer Electrolux, supply chain management service provider Mentor Media, beauty company Oriflame and bearing and seal manufacturer SKF. This pledge was inspired by Swedish furniture firm IKEA which had doubled its paternity leave to 1 month since 2017.
A collective effort to change mindset needed
Under Singapore’s laws, working fathers are entitled to only 2 weeks of government paid paternity leave while mothers get 16 weeks.As gender roles evolve throughout the years and especially due to the pandemic, “a collective effort is needed to change mindsets” so as to have more companies join in this pledge to encourage men to “take a more active roles during the early months of a child’s life” and allow “women a more equal footing in the workplace”. The pledge will be kept open till International Women’s Day in March,2022.
At the end of the day, gender equality is crucial for family harmony and a thriving economy and society.
Are you supportive of this move to have more paid paternity leave for fathers? How do you think we can better support parents in the workplace so as to encourage higher birth rates in Singapore?