Ikea’s Leave Policy Actually Includes Most of Its Workers

On Tuesday, Ikea—the Swedish furniture company that has become eponymous with trendy, affordable furniture and relationship tension—announced a new parental-leave policy. The plan is notable not only because of its generosity—both in terms of time off and pay—compared to many American employers, but also because Ikea will become one of very few employers to make such leave policies available to both part-time and full-time employees.

The new policy, which begins January 1, is based on the length of tenure. Employees who have been with Ikea for more than a year will be able to take parental leave for 12 weeks, the first six weeks at their full wage and the second six weeks at 50 percent of their normal pay. The policy is more generous toward those who have been with the company for more than three years, providing eight weeks of full wages and another eight weeks at 50 percent. Both policies are in addition to short-term disability benefits.

Currently, the most generous parental-leave policies in the U.S. have mostly come from the tech sector. Earlier this year, Etsy announced a new 26-weeks paid leave policy, joining a handful of U.S. companies—including Netflix, Google, Facebook, and Twitter—that offer paid time off well beyond what’s required, which is nothing. (The U.S. is the only OECD country that doesn’t mandate paid maternity leave.)

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