IKEA Is Doing Something Amazing For Parents, And All Companies Should Follow Suit

IKEA clearly cares a lot about their employees and their kids.

Credit: The Denver Post

In comparison to its competitors, IKEA just went above and beyond for long-term employees that are new parents by extending their paid parental leave. In a nutshell, those that have worked at the company for over 3 years can take up to 4 months of paid parental leave.

What makes this deal even better is that it applies to new mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents rather than limiting the leave to mothers like company policies usually do. The employee will earn 100% of their base-pay for the first 8 weeks and 50% of their pay for an additional 8 weeks.

Long-term employees aren’t the only ones that are allowed parental leave, however. If an employee has been working there for more than one year, they are still entitled to a full 3 months of leave. In a country where there is no universal parental leave enforced federally, and new fathers are generally discriminated against, this is pretty impressive.

IKEA US President Lars Petersson, said in a statement,

“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. Our co-workers are our most important resource, which is why we continue to invest in helping them reach their dream.”

A stigma exists around new fathers taking paternity leave as well, and it’s difficult for men to properly take time off to be with their growing family. That’s what makes IKEA’s policy exponentially more inclusive, beneficial, and representative of today’s American family.

IKEA’s policy is leading by example, and hopefully it encourages other companies to be as inclusive with their paternity leave. According to a study published in The American Economic Review, men are more likely to utilize their allotted paternity leave if their male colleagues, managers and family members also take the leave when they become new parents. By comparison, if more companies start including men in parental leave policies, ideally more companies will begin to do the same and more men will feel like they can join their family at home for this incredibly important time in their lives.

Unfortunately for now, the stigma surrounding paternity leave is still going strong, as Scott Coltrane, a sociologist at the University of Oregon, told The Wall Street Journal,

“There’s still a stigma associated with men who put parenting on an equal footing with their jobs. Most employers still assume that work comes first for men, while women do all the child care.”

This outdated way of thinking can be combatted in a number of ways, and changing policies regarding parental leave is one of them.

What are your thoughts on extending parental leave? Please share, like, and comment on this article!


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