These 19 Great Employers Offer Paid Sabbaticals

March 7, 2016, 6:36 PM UTC
Hyland - Best Companies 2016
Courtesy of Hyland

BEST_COS_LOGO_154x154Traditionally, sabbaticals are associated with university professors taking a year off to write a career-defining book. So it might be surprising to hear that some of the employers on Fortune’s 2016 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For also offer employees the opportunity for extended leave to explore their passions — and get paid for it.

The companies range from finance to retail stores, tech companies, and restaurants, and the sabbaticals range from being partly to fully-paid.

Companies say a sabbatical can be a major draw to sign on or to stay for the long-term. Here’s a look at the wide variety of sabbatical offerings among the best employers in the U.S.



100 Best Companies rank: 11

Genentech offers a six week sabbatical after six years of continuous service with the company.

The South San Francisco, Calif.-based firm saw 1,100 employees take advantage of the program last year,  in addition to their 18 vacation days. The company has roughly 14,000 employees.

"It was part of our founders' belief in bringing the best of academia to a corporate environment," a Genentech representative said.

Plante and Moran

100 Best Companies rank: 33

Southfield, Mich.-based Plante and Moran offers a 30-day sabbatical to partners who have been with the company seven years, and another sabbatical every seven years after.

That's in addition to the five weeks of vacation regularly offered.

Roughly 20 partners took advantage of the sabbatical last year. The company has about 2,000 employees.

Hyland, creator of OnBase

100 Best Companies rank: 48

Employees of Ohio-based software maker Hyland have the chance to go on a four week break in addition to the 15 to 30 days employees get yearly as vacation. The benefit is available to employees who have worked full-time for eight years at Hyland. After that, employees can go on sabbatical every five years.

Hyland, which has roughly 2,000 employees, began the program at the start of 2014, and since then, 210 employees have taken advantage of the perk.

The Boston Consulting Group

100 Best Companies rank: 3

The global consulting firm offers an eight week paid sabbatical to those who have been a partner with the firm for a minimum of five years. Partners are given the choice of going on a sabbatical after every five years, in addition to the yearly option of going on vacation for 20 days.

On average, about 20 people take advantage of the benefit. BCG has 3,000 employees in the U.S.

The Container Store

100 Best Companies rank: 14

Home goods retail chain offers full-time employees who have been with the company 10 years the chance to take a two weeks of paid sabbatical—that's in addition to a four week vacation.

In 2015, roughly 140 employees asked for a paid sabbatical.

David Weekley Homes

100 Best Companies rank: 17

Nine employees took advantage of the four-week sabbatical offered to David Weekley Homes workers in 2015.

To be eligible, employees must have worked at least 10 years with the company. Workers can then take another sabbatical every eight years. In addition to the paid sabbatical time, workers are also given a $2,000 grant to use as they choose.

Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

100 Best Companies rank: 20

San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants offers a month long sabbatical to employees director-level or above who have stayed with the company for seven years.

That's in addition to the vacation days already offered. Kimpton gives 10 vacation days to employees who have been with the company for one year, and 23 days to those who've been with the company for five years.

15 people took on the offer of a sabbatical last year, out of a total number of 7,700 employees.

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

100 Best Companies rank: 26

Camping goods retailer REI offers four consecutive weeks to employees who have been with the company for 15 or more years—continuous or incremental. After that, employees can take another four weeks of sabbatical every five years.

REI employees also get four weeks of vacation yearly, depending on their employment status and how long they've been with the company.

About 250 employees took advantage of the benefit yearly. Thats from a pool of roughly 12,000 who worked for the company in 2015.

Baker Donelson

100 Best Companies rank: 32

The Memphis-based law firm offers a sabbatical with no time limit—though only after the company's board of directors approves the request.

Very few employees of the company have attempted to pursue the policy.

On average, the law firm also offers 19 days of vacation a year.

Perkins Coie

100 Best Companies rank: 37

International law firm Perkins Coie offers a two month-long sabbatical to employees, depending on their status, who have been with the company between 10 to 13 years. An average of 51 employees took advantage of the benefit in 2014 and 2015 in the U.S. The company has a total of 1,000 plus lawyers internationally.

The sabbatical is in addition to the companies paid time off. Perkins Coie offers about 15 to 30 days yearly.


100 Best Companies rank: 40

Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware offers workers who have been with the company for at least five years the chance to go on a three-month sabbatical.

The sabbatical is meant for employees to work on a specific project not related to their day-to-day job.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

100 Best Companies rank: 53

Accounting firm PwC offers a four week long sabbatical to employees, depending on their status, after having stayed with the company for about five to seven years.

That's in additional to the 15 to 22 days of vacation offered on a yearly basis to workers.

In the fiscal year 2015, 673 workers took advantage of the benefit. PwC employs about 41,500 in the U.S.


100 Best Companies rank: 54

New York-based software company Autodesk offers a six week sabbatical to U.S. employees every four years as a chance for workers to recharge.

Every year, the company, which makes software for manufacturing, engineering, and architectural firms, also gives employees 12 paid vacation days to its roughly 7,700 workers.


100 Best Companies rank: 62

The Naples, Fla.-based surgical supplies company offers a company paid, one week trip to employees who have worked five years with the company. After that, two weeks after every five years of service.

As part of the offering, Arthrex's founder, Reinhold Schmiedling, also lets employees choose his Montana river house as a destination.

Additionally, the medical supplies company also offers 15 to 35 days of vacation, depending on the employees status and tenure in the company.


100 Best Companies rank: 76

The Tulsa, Okla.-based convenience store chain offers a four-week paid sabbatical to full-time employees who have been with the company for a minimum of 25 years, and every five years after that.

In the last 12 months, about 47 workers took a sabbatical.

That's also in addition to the 20 to 25 days offered as vacation on a yearly basis—depending on the employee's tenure with the company.

Adobe Systems

Adobe team meeting.

100 Best Companies rank: 87

Software company Adobe Systems offer a four week sabbatical to workers who have been with the company five years, and every five years after that.

The sabbatical allows employees to rejuvenate and come back more healthy and productive, a company representative said.

405 employees took advantage of the benefit last year.

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated

100 Best Companies rank: 98

The Calablasas Hills, Calif.-based restaurant chain offers as much as three weeks worth of a sabbatical after every five years of employment.

Roughly 15 employees are slated to take a sabbatical in 2016, in addition to the 15 vacation days regularly offered annually.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York .

100 Best Companies rank: 51

The Wall Street firm offers sabbaticals ranging from 24 to 52 weeks, according to That's through Goldman Sachs' Public Service Program, which allows some Vice Presidents and Managing Directors to take a paid leave to work with a public service or charitable organization.


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

100 Best Companies rank: 35

Memphis-based St. Jude Children's Research Hospital offers its teaching faculty the opportunity to take six months to a year off.

Faculty can take a sabbatical after five years with the hospital, though with 50% pay. After ten years with the facility, faculty can take full pay. The company employs roughly 4,000 workers.


See the full list of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For at, where you can also find job searching tips, career advice, and secrets from recruiters.

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