Chobani wants its 2,000-plus employees to spend more time with their new children.
The yogurt brand run by billionaire Hamdi Ulukaya announced Wednesday that all full-time employees can take up to six weeks of paid parental leave.
This will be effective in 2017, and also applies to foster and adoptive parents. Currently, Chobani has no parental leave policy.
Founder and CEO Ulukaya said being a dad is the hardest job he’s ever had, and it spurred conversations within Chobani on how to better support new parents.
“What I learned is that the vast majority of companies, especially in manufacturing, don’t have benefits for parents who’ve just had a child. That needs to change across the country and we needed to change it here at Chobani,” he said in a letter to employees.
The policy follows Ulukaya’s surprise announcement late April, when he gave every full-time employee an ownership stake in Chobani, based on tenure, from the shares he had as majority owner. That portion, now owned by about 2,000 employees, could be up to 10% of the company, which was estimated to be worth $3 billion to $5 billion two years ago after received a private equity loan.
Chobani is not alone in its efforts to make itself a more attractive place to work and help workers maintain a better work-life balance.
JPMorgan, for example, upped fully paid parental leave for primary caregivers in the US to 16 weeks from 12. In September, Citigroup announced it would extend paid maternal leave to 16 weeks from 13, and second parent leave to eight weeks from two.
Netflix allows new mums and dads to take off as much time as they want during the first year after their child’s birth or adoption. There are also additional perks beyond paid leave for parents at Netflix, ranging from on-site childcare to free breast milk shipping.
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