US restaurant organisation Noodles and Company has announced that from next year, expecting and postpartum mothers will be able to work an 80% schedule four weeks before and four weeks after maternity leave, while receiving full pay.
Dave Boennighausen, chief executive officer of Noodles and Company, said: “Transitioning to and from maternity leave can be a difficult time for mothers. Through our Life@Noodles initiative we strive to make that adjustment easier for our team members.”
The new maternity leave transition provision has been brought in as part of an effort to allow mothers to balance their work and personal lives, and avoid work-related concerns compounding stresses they might already be experiencing.
Other family-friendly policies offered in the organisation’s benefits programme include six weeks of fully paid maternity leave and expanded parental leave, adoption assistance of up to $10,000 (£7,500), breast milk shipment during business travel and flexible time off for corporate team members.
Boennighausen said: “This phase-out, phase-in programme adds to our already robust maternity, paternity and adoption benefits and reflects our commitment to nourishing and inspiring our team.
“Our team members work hard for us, and we want to express our gratitude by offering top-of-the-line benefits that support them in and out of the workplace.”
Noodles and Company, which has over 450 restaurants and around 10,000 employees, also provides student loan debt assistance, dental and vision coverage, medical and life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance programmes and retirement plans.