Volvo roll out Swedish-style parental benefits for dads

The famously reliable car maker joins a growing trend of big firms that know the top talent wants time out with their children

Shared parenting


Volvo is the latest corporation to unveil an enhanced package of parental benefits for men and women.

The Swedish car maker is to roll out to all employees in Europe policies similar to those that apply to workers in Sweden by law.

Fathers as well as mothers will be entitled to six months off paid at 80% of their normal pay.

Pay is widely cited as a factor in couples deciding that the mother will take on the majority of childcare in a baby’s first year.

Ring-fenced leave for dads

The company claims its new policy is more generous than most national statutory schemes and they boast that the Swedish system has delivered tangible benefits for parents and children. However the firm hasn’t matched Sweden’s system like for like –  parents there get a whopping 480 days of paid leave and dads have three months of that ring-fenced.

Emulating the Swedish approach that inspired it, the Volvo Cars policy is gender-neutral and also applicable to same-sex parents and parents of adopted children.

“The initiative is one of several activities with the aim to create an inclusive culture and attract and retain a diverse set of people,” said Hanna Fager, Head of People Experience at Volvo. “It improves life-work balance, boosts family time and fits with a progressive, human-centric company such as Volvo Cars.”

Recent research has found that workers, particularly those from the millenials cohort, are studying a firm’s parental leave and pay policies before deciding whether to take a job rather than just considering the salary. “We need to be a truly attractive employer to be able to deliver on our ambitious growth plans,” added Hanna Fager. “Attracting and retaining the best people is crucial, and we know that skilled talents will be more selective in their choice of employer. The winners in this battle for talent will be companies that value diversity, modern and flexible working practices, and employee well-being.”

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