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Henkel Announces Fully Paid Gender-Neutral Parental Leave

By Robert McHugh
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Henkel Announces Fully Paid Gender-Neutral Parental Leave

Henkel has announced it will implement a new gender-neutral parental leave policy for its 50,000 employees worldwide, starting this year.

The consumer goods giant 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.

Equal Parenting

Henkel said this demonstrates a firm commitment to equity, promoting equal parenting and childcare for all parents, including adoptive, foster, surrogacy, and LGBTQ+ parents.

The initiative will give employees in approximately 80 countries the opportunity to take paid time off work to care for and bond with a new child.

'Unwavering Commitment'

“Henkel will become the first German DAX40 company to offer its employees worldwide eight weeks of fully paid parental leave,” said Carsten Knobel, CEO of Henkel.

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“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,” he added.

Henkel said the new global policy should be considered the minimum standard, complementing existing local practices and regulations.

The company has also called for the need to establish a universal standard that applies to all caregivers.

'Future Workforce'

“Through this initiative, we want to support parents and challenge traditional gender roles, enabling everyone to participate equally in childcare," said Sylvie Nicol, executive vice president human resources, infrastructure and sustainability at Henkel.

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"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.”

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