SINGAPORE: New fathers working in IKEA's stores and offices across Southeast Asia will get four weeks of paternity leave, the Swedish furniture giant said on Wednesday (Sep 6).
This is double the two weeks' paid paternity leave that new dads in Singapore get.
“This year, throughout our stores and offices in Southeast Asia, we are introducing one month of paid paternity leave to enable new fathers to take a more active role at home after the birth of a new baby,” IKEA said in a news release. “It’s a small step that makes a big difference to the dads in our business, and their partners.”
Since the policy came into effect on Jan 1, 27 employees among the 2,400 IKEA staff in the region have benefited, including 14 dads in Singapore, IKEA said. The leave has to be taken in the first six months after the child is born.
“IKEA has always taken an interest in life at home for families – both in our products and in our workplace. We embrace Swedish values, and that includes gender equality,” said Ms Lydia Song, human resources director for IKEA Southeast Asia.
Working parents in Singapore get a combined 20 weeks of paid leave after their child is born, and can ask for two weeks of unpaid leave. These consist of 16 weeks of paid maternity leave, two weeks of paid paternity leave, a week of paid childcare leave per parent and a week of unpaid infant care leave per parent.
Ms Song added that IKEA has no immediate plans to review the 16 weeks' paid maternity leave for mothers.