Zillow to offer six-week, half-paid sabbaticals to some employees
- Online real estate firm Zillow is offering six-week sabbaticals to full-time employees with at least six consecutive years on staff, reports CNNMoney. About 10% of Zillow’s 3,000 employees are eligible.
- Three weeks of the sabbaticals are paid and three are unpaid, says CNN. Employees who go out for the six-week period will continue receiving other benefits, such as health and stock-based pay.
- Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow Group's Chief Operating Officer, told CNN that unlike tech companies that provide sabbaticals to get employees back into the office after a break, Zillow really wants employees to rest. She said employees who take sabbatical generally report spending time with families or taking an extended vacation.
Zillow wisely polled employees about the sabbatical idea before adopting it. Although only about 300 of the company's workers are currently eligible, they're not required to take off six weeks.
Outside of academia, sabbaticals are rare and paid sabbaticals are even more unusual. Citing SHRM as a source, CNN says only 4% of employers offered paid sabbaticals and 12% offered unpaid programs in 2016.
Employers offering paid leave, mostly based on family or parental needs, rose in 2016. Ikea and Deloitte offer generous paid leave programs, as do some states and districts, such as Illinois, California and D.C. During the 2016 election, Arizona and the state of Washington tied paid leave proposals to their minimum wage referendums.
The Obama administration supported paid leave policies, but the question of whether more employers will advance them under the Trump administration and Republican-dominated legislatures remains uncertain.