The Federal Government’s current parental leave scheme provides for 18 weeks maternity leave pay at the national minimum wage. But if you’re lucky enough to work at IKEA for two or more years, you have the option of taking 26 weeks maternity leave at full pay, or one year off at half pay.
When she was expecting her first child, IKEA employee Anjana Subed informed her manager of her pregnancy, and the two of them had a meeting with the HR department to discuss the parental leave entitlements that were available to her.
“As I have been at IKEA for more than two years, I was given the option of one year off with either
52 weeks of half pay or 26 weeks of full pay,” said Anjana. “My final decision was to take the full year with 26 weeks paid leave.”
“Having the extra time with my boy meant that I didn’t have to miss any of the special moments that the first few months of a child’s life brings. It also meant that I had plenty of time to adjust to my new lifestyle.”
As Anjana’s maternity leave was coming to its end, she was nervous about returning to work. Having had trouble finding the right childcare for her baby, she approached IKEA to discuss her return to work and her concerns about leaving her baby. IKEA worked with Anjana to come up with a flexible work arrangement.
Anjana’s flexible working arrangement involved her choosing her own hours, allowing her to work
on the weekends, while her husband stayed home to look after their baby. This also meant that
she could finish work earlier than usual, so that her baby’s bedtime routine was disturbed as little
“More than anything it meant that I could still spend the time I needed with my baby and return to
work at a pace that worked for me and my family,” said Ajana.
“Returning to work full-time would have meant that I would be tired from work and hence not be able to give 100% as a mother. Being able to work a 20-hour week provided my family and me with the perfect balance. I really enjoyed the financial and personal independence of my work, while still having plenty of time to spend with my baby and my husband.”
Anjana will be returning to full-time work after six months of part time work and IKEA says it will continue to support her with additional flexible hours of her choosing.
In addition to these maternity leave entitlements, IKEA offers Dads who have worked for the company for two or more years, four weeks paid paternity leave at full pay. The Federal Government’s Parental Leave Scheme currently provides for only two weeks pay at the national minimum wage. The company also provides maternity and paternity leave for the adoption of a child, and for same-sex couples.
For more information about IKEA Australia visit the website http://www.ikea.com/au/en/
If you know of a more generous parental leave scheme, we want to hear about it so we can share it with the women of Australia.