Work commitment and personal commitment are two parts of a whole — not separate spheres. When one part of our life carries a lot of stress over time, the other part will suffer. As a result, our capacity to perform as partners, parents, caregivers, employees, co-workers, or managers is weakened.
To support the employees and their families when they need it the most, as well as contribute to their health, wellbeing and work/life balance, Jotun has developed the Penguin Care program.
“Being able to care for your family is essential for all human beings. As an employer we want to support our employees as they navigate the challenges in life”, says Group Vice President Human Resources Per-Harald Engesaeth in Jotun.
Jotun’ official symbol is a penguin – known for their endurance in tough conditions – and that’s why “Penguin” is an affectionate nickname for employees in the organisation. The Penguin Care program was launched 1 September 2022 and is valid throughout the entire Jotun network.
The family-benefits package consists of global extended parental leave for all mothers and fathers in the company, in addition to increased flexibility when returning from parental leave as well as global caregiver leave for all employees to tend to their families.
“This way, our employees can have additional paid leave to support their family through sickness and other difficult situations. This is a universal human need but not the norm in many the countries we operate in”, Engesaeth continues.
By implementing Penguin Care in countries with comparatively low leave entitlements, Jotun contributes positively both for their own and for the societies they operate in.
“There are many benefits we take for granted, especially from a Nordic perspective. Around the world the situation is very different, and it can be stressful to combine work life with family commitments. It is especially difficult for women to combine a career, with duties concerning raising a family and often also tending to elderly parents and in-laws. In many of the countries we operate in, the Covid pandemic has increased this challenge”, says Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion Anja Allouni in Jotun.
“We have listened to the struggles of our employees and implemented family-oriented benefits that go beyond what the local labour market generally offers. We believe this also will benefit Jotun, as healthier and happier employees in general are more engaged and productive. In addition, as local labour laws often have many exclusions, we have an inclusive approach and recognise that families are different. Therefore, cases of adoption, single parents, non-citizens, same sex- or less traditional families are included and equally entitled to our benefits”, she adds.
Penguin Care is consistent with Jotun’s work with the UN Sustainability goal No. 8; promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
“Our long term goal is to contribute in a positive way by establishing good working conditions, ensuring decent salaries, providing equal opportunities, and supporting minorities in the labour market”, Allouni explains.
Top image: Jotun employee Keng Khoon Tan and his family. Photo: Morten Rakke