Contributing to equal parenthood
Case story

Contributing to equal parenthood

Taking care of a new-born child is a joint responsibility of both parents. But conditions for parents to take equal part in caring for a new family member varies greatly between countries and there are still many countries where only the mother has the right to paid leave. Höganäs in India wanted to change that and decided to contribute to gender equality.

In India, maternity leave is regulated by law and gives the mother six months of paid leave. However, there is no regulated paternity leave, even though there are several benefits of staying at home with the new-born child, such as a stronger bond between father and child and a better understanding of the needs of the baby and the mother. Höganäs India saw an opportunity to contribute to gender equality by introducing paid paternity leave for seven days. “Patriarchy is still a big challenge in Indian society. Hence, the main challenge was to bring about change in mindset for employees, People Managers and Leadership Teams. This initiative helps to bridge the gap in gender equality and create a safer and more engaging work environment for both men and women,” says Vinay Shende, Director, Human Resources, Administration and Communications at Höganäs in India.

After benchmarking some external organisations, Höganäs involved both male and female employees in discussions regarding parental leave and gender equality to better understand both needs and attitudes.

“The policy was also extended to same sex partners, considering the Principle of Inclusivity and with the changing law of acceptance of LGBT in India,” Says Vinay. The policy of paternity leave was launched internally through a series of communication sessions with employees to explain the rationale and benefits. It was introduced in 2020 and in 2022, 6 men have used the opportunity of paternity leave. Höganäs India also takes other aspects of family life into account, such as becoming a parent through adoption and miscarriage.

“There is no regulated paid leave in case of miscarriage or adoption. But owing to the changing social landscape, this is becoming something we need to address. I am proud of how we are contributing to better gender equality. This will have positive effects on society,” says Vinay.



Paternity leave in India

  • The project was launched in 2020. In 2022 six men have used the opportunity of paternity leave.
  • Höganäs India provides fathers of new-born children seven days of paternity leave.
  • The aim is to bridge the gender gap and create a safe and engaging work environment for both men and women.
  • The policy also applies to same sex partners.
  • Höganäs also provides paid leave in case of miscarriage (up to 6 weeks) and adoption (up to 26 weeks). In 2022, one employee availed the leave for miscarriage.