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IKEA’s New Paid Leave Policy Applies From Top to Bottom

Swedish furniture company IKEA has announced its intention to offer expanded parental leave beginning Jan. 1, 2017. All IKEA workers, from corporate management and extending all the way down the line to store-level employees, will be able to have three months of paid parental leave. The program treats blue-collar and white-collar workers the same.

The leave applies to employees that have been at IKEA for at least one year. The first six weeks of leave will be at full pay. The subsequent six weeks will be at 50% pay. For employees of IKEA that have been there for at least three years, they will be entitled to four months of paid leave. It will be broken down into eight weeks of full paid leave with the second eight at 50% pay.

IKEA employs approximately 14,000 U.S. workers across the country. The CEO of IKEA stated that he wanted the paid leave plan to be generous enough that employees would actually take advantage of it and use it. It looked at research on leave and learned that employees are more likely to use it if it covers at least 70% of their pay. This leave is gender-neutral and applies equally to children that are adopted or fostered. It does not apply to care for a sick family member; it is only to care for a new child.