Unexpected Companies Offering Sabbaticals (Yes, They’re Paid)

While the concept isn’t new, we’ve generally considered the sabbatical a privilege for a select few professions. You may never have even thought to look for the option in your benefits package.

But why not?

As US companies make inroads for working parents with paid parental leaveoptional sabbaticals take work-life balance into consideration for all employees —regardless of whether they’ve just become parents.

Justice for childless professionals is probably not the intention behind this unique benefit… but those of us in that category certainly appreciate its growing popularity.

What Is Sabbatical Leave?

A sabbatical is a special kind of paid time off, separate from accumulated vacation time, personal days or parental/family leave. You usually have to take an extended period at once, from a few weeks to a few months, and it takes much longer to earn than regular vacation days.

Sabbaticals have been common for a long time, particularly among academics. But the practice is now making its way into company benefits packages, from retail stores to tech startups to international manufacturing corporations.

We found hundreds of companies offering sabbaticals, but a few really surprised us!

Retail and Food Companies Offering Sabbatical Leave

Who’d expect working as a cashier could earn you long-term paid leave from work? It turns out, with the right company, it can.

In some cases, loyalty to a company can earn all employees a sabbatical, even a part-time retail clerk.

In others, the benefit is only available to management or corporate employees. If you’re not quite there yet, consider starting in the store and working your way up the ladder.

Check out these ten surprising companies offering sabbaticals:

1. Patagonia

Through its Environmental Internship Programthe outdoor clothing company allows employees “from all parts of the company” up to two months paid time away from work. However, employees must spend this time…

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