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Henkel introduces fully paid gender-neutral parental leave for its employees worldwide

Fostering equal parenting and childcare

Düsseldorf / Germany – WEBWIRE
Henkel implements a new gender-neutral parental leave standard.
Henkel implements a new gender-neutral parental leave standard.

Starting in 2024, Henkel will implement a new gender-neutral parental leave standard for its about 50,000 employees worldwide. The company will offer parents up to eight weeks of fully paid parental leave, based on the caregiver role, rather than their gender or biological parent status. This demonstrates a firm commitment to equity, promoting equal parenting and childcare for all parents, including adoptive, foster, surrogacy, and LGBTQ+ parents.

“Henkel will become the first German DAX40 company to offer its employees worldwide eight weeks of fully paid parental leave”, says Carsten Knobel, CEO of Henkel. “This initiative sends a strong signal to all our employees and underscores our unwavering commitment to fostering a more inclusive culture and more gender equity.”

Sylvie Nicol, Executive Vice President Human Resources, Infrastructure and Sustainability, adds: “Through this initiative, we want to support parents and challenge traditional gender roles, enabling everyone to participate equally in childcare. However, addressing this inequality is not the sole objective of our new global standard. It also positions us to meet the expectations of the future workforce.”

Setting a new global standard

The new global standard should be considered the minimum standard, complementing existing local practices and regulations. It serves as a crucial foundation for promoting family-friendliness and greater gender equity, particularly in countries where parental leave opportunities are currently lacking. Moreover, many practices exclude specific family types, such as single fathers, adoptive parents, and surrogacy parents. Recognizing this, Henkel has identified the need to establish a universal standard that applies to all caregivers.

After the implementation in 2024, Henkel employees in approximately 80 countries will have the opportunity to take paid time off work to care for and bond with a new child. With this new approach, the company demonstrates a firm commitment to its diversity, equity, and inclusion ambitions by taking tangible actions to promote equal access to opportunities consistently around the world.


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