LEGO sees success in boosting parental leave policies

'We have been extremely focused on ensuring that our benefits framework is catering to the needs of families and kids,' says HR director

LEGO sees success in boosting parental leave policies

The Singapore government recently urged organisations to equalise paternity and maternity leave entitlements to encourage parents to share childcare responsibilities between them.

And one company that’s already offering parental leave policies in Singapore is seeing the benefits of talent retention and attraction.

“Our philosophy on benefits is very favourable towards families,” says Amrita Singh, HR director, Asia Pacific at The LEGO Group.

“As you can imagine, we're a family-oriented company, and we have been extremely focused on ensuring that our benefits framework, as well as our rewards framework, is catering to the needs of families and kids.”

Positive impact of benefits on EVP

Up until a few years ago, the company followed local legislation, she says.

“Back in 2020, we changed this so that now globally, no matter where people are working in the company, everybody has the same benefits. The results have been phenomenal. This created a lot of positive buzz in our Employee Value Proposition from a talent attraction point of view.”

Globally, LEGO offers 26 weeks of leave on full pay for the primary caregiver and eight weeks for the secondary caregiver. The policy is available to all parents – including those adopting and fostering. Where local laws offer a more generous deal, the local policies take precedence. Parents decide who takes the role as the primary caregiver and the organisation’s policy also applies for same sex couples.

This compares to the legal requirement in Singapore, which is up to 16 weeks of government-paid maternity leave for females, while male employees can get up to four weeks.

“In some of our smaller markets, especially, people are extremely grateful for us being ahead of the market and that we walk the talk when we say we care about kids and about families. That's not just for consumers - it's also for employees,” says Singh.

Employee surveys favourable about parental leave policy

Singh says feedback to LEGO’s policy has been highly favourable.

“It has impacted the level of motivation employees have. We measure it through employee surveys and could see employees rate our benefits very favourably.”

Singh is confident the parental leave policy plays strongly into LEGO being a top employer.

“We’re constantly reviewing the parental leave policy – and, in general, review our benefits and policies once every year for competitiveness.

“In our recruiting, these things are highlighted because they are so critical for employees when they join us.”

Company values include caring, creativity and fun

The company’s key values include caring, imagination, creativity, quality, learning and fun. They speak to the organisation’s commitment to its brand, which includes a strong leaning towards play, she says.

“Each of these values are linked with that intent and you will see that playing out in the way we do our work,” says Singh, adding LEGO has a play director, whose main role is to integrate play into day-to-day work.

“The way our offices are constructed demonstrate this - when you go into a meeting room, you see a bowl of LEGO bricks and the office decor is all about the bricks and making sure we have enough opportunity to play and be hands on with it.”

The firm also has an annual Play Day, when everyone at the LEGO group takes a day to play with the bricks and gets to become a ‘kid’ all over again.

“Play is at the centre of our being as a company and it’s an amazing experience to do this special day. It’s crucial for us to keep play alive, not just externally but also in house,” she says.

People Promise and positivity at LEGO

LEGO also has what it calls promises: a Play Promise to consumers, Partner Promise towards retailers, a Planet Promise with sustainability intentions, and a People Promise towards employees.

“Our People Promise is around ensuring that our employee value proposition internally as well as externally, is very much aligned to the values of Caring, and

Since starting in the Singapore office 10 years ago, Singh has seen it grow from 50 people to 500.

“It gives me an immense amount of satisfaction that we're on a growth trajectory and our decisions are the right ones so we’re able to attract talent, and also keep them,” she says.

“Creating the environment which is so positive and collaborative, I think, is probably the most inspiring thing for me - that I can impact people's lives in a very real way through many of these policies.”

Recent articles & video

Firm, officials fined nearly $100,000 for flouting Hong Kong's wage rules

Firm targeted by HK$200-million deepfake incident in Hong Kong revealed: reports

What are the top people risks for employers?

Employers urge Biden to grant long-term immigrants work permits

Most Read Articles

Former DEI exec gets 5 years in prison for defrauding Facebook, Nike

Hong Kong firm, director fined $120,000 for wage-related breach

Freeze on foreign worker entry to be maintained in Malaysia: reports