INGOLSTADT, Germany – Audi is offering sabbaticals to its 45,000-strong German work force.
Employees at Audi’s Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants can take off between two and 18 months to pursue outside interests.
“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 thinks that workers who take a sabbatical will become more strongly committed to the carmaker.
Currently 84 of Audi’s workers in Germany are on sabbatical and 20 others have signed a contract to start a long break. The employees’ reasons for taking a break include family commitments, further education and hobbies.
Audi signed a new wage and working conditions agreement with its German workers last month.
The company guaranteed jobs until 2011 after employee representatives agreed to allow more flexible working practices, including a system of shifting work back and forth between the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm plants.