You’ve heard of the layoff. You’ve heard of the furlough, a somewhat less painful way for a company to cut costs in these hard times. You’ve heard of companies’ requests for voluntary reductions in hours (some not quite as voluntary as some companies have described them, we are now being told locally).
Now add the unpaid “sabbatical” as a potential cost-cutter. Acxiom, the Little Rock-based data manager, which recently announced a big quarterly loss, has recently told its employees about a sabbatical program in which they may take four to eight weeks off this year without pay, but with continuing health benefits. It’s cast as a new fringe benefit that many had asked about for educational and other opportunities. It’s friendlier, but the bottom line is the same. Reduction in expenses.