Published: Wed, December 07, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

IKEA Unveils New Paid Parental Leave Policy

IKEA Unveils New Paid Parental Leave Policy

1, Ikea's 13,000 salaried and hourly workers in the US will receive up to four months of paid parental leave.

Birth, foster and adoptive mothers and fathers will all be able to claim the new program which will come into effect in January, 2017.

"This benefit, which applies to all parents, will give our co-workers the opportunity to spend more time with their families when welcoming a child", said Lars Petersson, president, Ikea U.S.

Ikea's approach is even more notable given that hourly workers in the particular are often unlikely to receive such benefits, despite a trend at many companies to expand paid leave for longer periods, to include adoptions and to accommodate new dads - benefits normally reserved for salaried workers in professional positions.

In a move that is likely to help it attract new talent - and hold on to existing employees - Ikea U.S. has announced one of the most generous and inclusive parental leave programs in the U.S. retail industry.

IKEA is offering all its American employees up to four months of paid parental leave in a shake-up of staff benefits. "We think the home is the most important place for people".

Ikea was founded in Sweden, where parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave, which they can take at any time until the child is 8. The Family and Medical Leave Act mandates 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, but only to full-time workers at companies with over 50 employees.

Among the most generous policies from private companies in the US are Netflix NFLX, -1.37%, which offers up to a year of paid leave to salaried employees, and Etsy ETSY, +2.20%, where new parents can take up to 26 weeks off at full pay. Workers who have been there three years will be eligible for eight weeks at full pay, followed by eight weeks at half pay.

In introducing the expanded benefits, Ikea follows other USA companies like Netflix, Adobe, and Etsy that have rolled out generous packages for new parents in a effort to recruit and keep top talent.

Employees who have been with the company for more than three years receive 100 percent of their wages for the first eight weeks and 50 percent for the second eight weeks, which gives them 4 months of paid leave.

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