Ikea, world’s leading furniture retailer, has announced that it will offer six month of parental leave, with full salary and benefits, to men, surrogates, single parents and for adoptions as well, says a report. In addition to the 26-week leave for women employees, they will be offered an option to work reduced hours by 50% for an additional 16 weeks.
The policy comes at a crucial junction, as last week the Parliament passed the bill increasing maternity leaves for women from 12 to 26 weeks, but did not mention any provision for fathers. Individual organisations have different policies for new fathers.
Ikea announced that in addition to having the option of reduced working hours immediately after the leave; an additional two weeks of leave with full pay will be offered in the event of a tubectomy; leave will full pay and benefits for a maximum of one month in case of illness arising out of pregnancy, delivery and premature birth, will be available for women employees. Ikea is also reportedly setting up daycare centres at each store it will establish. Currently, Ikea has 250 employees in India, and there are plans to increase this number by 500-800 when the Hyderabad store opens later this year.
Anna-Carin Mansson, country HR manager, Ikea India, says in the report, “The vision is to create a better everyday life for its people. We are a value-driven company. Gender balance and equal opportunities form the base to create a great place to work for all — men and women. We hope to redefine equal opportunity with the policy.”