Ikea Expands Paid Parental Leave to All U.S. Employees


In a workplace trend that’s gaining traction, the U.S. division of Swedish furniture maker Ikea says it will expand paid benefits up to four months for all its workers welcoming a new baby into their lives.

Ikea said its move is aimed at improving work-life balance among its roughly 14,000 employees while attracting and retaining top talent.

The expanded family-leave benefits at Ikea, which go into effect Jan. 1, includes not only salaried employees, but hourly workers as well. And it’s not just new moms eligible for longer periods of paid time off to take care of newborns. Dads who work at Ikea are also eligible for longer paid leaves, as are adoptive and foster parents.

“We see it as an investment in our co-workers,which we view as our most important resource ” says Lars Petersson, president of Ikea’s U.S. operations. The company expects to “get great payback over the years, from the sheer fact of having our people getting even closer to us in terms of loyalty and them staying longer. This is the right thing to do for our people.”

Ikea is the latest company to bolster parental leave benefits. Last year, video streamer Netflix made headlines when it announced it was offering unlimited family leave pay to all of its salaried employees. Since then, companies such as software maker Adobe Systems, hotel chain Hilton Hotels and yogurt maker Chobani have all increased the number of paid days for new moms and dads.

Only 12% of U.S. private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employer, according to Labor Department data.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Adam Shell

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