Ikea NL offers paid leave for gender reassignment; Covid bonuses to all workers
IKEA Netherlands plans to offer paid leave to employees who are undergoing gender reassignment. The company has reached an agreement on the matter with the labor union FNV. Under terms of the new agreement, IKEA employees will also receive a wage increase of 2 percent, including a minimum bump of 40 cents per hour. Additionally, all of the company's employees worldwide will be eligible for a coronavirus bonus.
People undergoing gender reassignment will be able to take a total of 24 weeks off work for medical and non-medical treatment over a period of ten years, said the trade union. They will receive pay, and will not have to report sick or take special leave.
Some IKEA employees have already requested leave for gender reassignment, according to labor union leader Daniëlle Wiek. In the Netherlands, many collective agreements still operate in terms of the gender binary, she said. Gender-inclusive agreements garner widespread support among union members, who want to make other collective agreements more inclusive in the future, according to Wiek.
Full partner parental leave of up to five weeks is also in the deal. Labor union members still have to vote on the new contract. Terms state that employees will also have the opportunity to extend their contracts and work more hours. That should ease workload at the furniture chain. This new collective agreement will run from October 1 of this year through September 30 next year, if approved.
IKEA's parent company, Ingka Group, also announced all employees worldwide will receive a bonus for their efforts during the pandemic. The furniture store company said it wants to thank the employees for their "dedication and dedication during this exceptional period". IKEA made a rapid shift to full online sales during the coronavirus crisis.
Ingka Group will make a one-off payment of 110 million euros to its employees worldwide. IKEA Netherlands will receive a total of more than 4.5 million euros for its 6,000 employees in the stores and customer service. The bonus for IKEA Netherlands employees should amount to a gross average of 850 euros per person based on full-time employment.
Ingka Group said that "the rapid switch to e-commerce during the lockdowns and the adaptation of the stores to create a safe environment for customers and staff" would not have been possible without the commitment of all employees.
Reporting by ANP.