Lululemon is already famous for the flexibility of its yoga pants, and now it’s extending some of that flexibility to employees.
The company just announced an inclusive new parental leave policy that is gender neutral and applies equally to maternity, paternity, and adoption. Now all benefit-eligible employees at the Vancouver-based company who are expecting a new little tax write-off can take three months of leave with full pay after two years of tenure at the company. If they have been at Lululemon for five years, they are entitled to six months of leave at full pay, which is plenty of time to get bored of watching the kid drool and make you eager to get back to the office.
It’s a smart policy because it encourages employees to stay (and replacing people is expensive), boosts recruiting, and is generally good for business. Plus, as more states make paid parental leave mandatory, it makes sense to implement a corporate policy now. That’s what Microsoft did! The fact that the policy is gender neutral could boost retention and advancement for moms in particular as paid paternity leave can dramatically change women’s career opportunities.
Lululemon says its version of parental leave will keep new parents connected to colleagues, mentors, and work resources during their leave, which they say will make for an easy transition back into the workplace with a clear trajectory for advancement, although it also kind of sounds like they want you to work on your break. Luckily, it will be tracking the results: Lululemon plans to measure the impact of its parenthood policy each year to capture leave rates across its employees, as well as their career growth rates as a result.
This is the latest progressive move for the company, which last year said it achieved pay equity across the organization, reaching 100% gender pay parity for its 14,000 employees worldwide.