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Tiffany Offers Employees a Sparkly Prize: Paid Parental Leave

Joining the likes of Estée Lauder and Walmart, the jeweller will offer up to 14 paid weeks for new parents. Tiffany’s chief executive says the move will help attract talent and boost morale.
Tiffany & Co.
  • Cathaleen Chen,
  • Lauren Sherman

NEW YORK, United States — Tiffany & Co. will begin offering parental leave to all of its employees worldwide, joining Kering and other fashion companies in extending the benefit as they compete for young talent.

Starting June 1, full-time and part-time employees who have been at the company for at least one year will receive 14 paid weeks off for maternity leave. Fathers and partners will get eight paid weeks off. As part of the package, Tiffany employees will also get two paid weeks per year to care for family.

By improving its parental leave package, Tiffany will be in a better position to retain talent and remain competitive in an industry in which multiple players are already offering the same generous benefits. While it may be a short-term cost to bear for the jeweller, which has reported declining same-store sales in some recent quarters, the company hopes the enduring effects will improve its bottom line overall.

For Tiffany, the policy change is about fairness and “being culturally relevant,” chief executive Alessandro Bogliolo told BoF.

“When you are a global company, I find it so unfair that if you are in Italy or in the United States, you have totally, radically different treatment. I don’t think it’s fair, and it’s not in line with Tiffany's beliefs and values,”Bogliolo said, adding that he believes the measure will help attract talent.

Other global retailers have bolstered parental leave benefits in recent years. Earlier this month, Estée Lauder Companies extended its parental leave package to 20 weeks of paid leave for any parent. Kering began offering a minimum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave and five days of partner leave in January 2017. Walmart announced in early 2018 that it would offer full-time employees 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid partner leave.

Family paid leave advocates and corporate researchers have found that generous parental policies have led to better talent retention and attraction, as well as heightened employee morale and productivity.

A 2016 Ernst and Young study of 1,500 companies that offer paid family leave found that more than 70 percent saw an increase in employee productivity. Google was able to reduce the number of new mothers who quit by half after it increased paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 18 weeks in 2007.

Parental leave policies are becoming a higher priority at many companies because millennial employees are reaching an age where they are most likely to be young parents, said Bain partner Jennifer Hayes.

“There’s a short-term hit on the business but it doesn’t compare to the long-term benefits in employee retention,” Hayes said. “The simple fact that you’re retaining employees and increasing their productivity should be a huge driver for employers to offer better packages.”

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