Audi offers its workers sabbaticals of up to 18 months

Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi is making it possible to get paid for not working.

The company is offering sabbaticals as a new form of job-sharing in its German factories.

Every employee, whether an assembly line worker or manager, is eligible for a sabbatical lasting from 2 to 18 months.

"We want to offer our employees the chance to work in a way that fits their life situation," said Josef Schelchshorn, an Audi personnel manager.

Schelchshorn believes that the sabbatical participants will become strongly committed to Audi in their work life.

Currently, 84 workers are on sabbatical, and 20 others have signed a contract to do so.

Their reasons are varied: Hobbies, further education, and time for the family are often cited.

Employees who want to take time off first need to work full-time for a specified period.

The advantage for the employees: During both the working period and the time off, they receive half of their gross pay and end up with a higher net income due to lower deductions.