In a job market with low unemployment and few available workers, employee retention is key. That's why restaurant rivals Chipotle (CMG 0.43%) and Yum! Brands' (YUM 0.96%) Taco Bell have been making changes to their benefit and pay packages.

These moves have already included Taco Bell offering six-figure salaries to some managers and Chipotle creating a bonus pool for workers in stores that hit certain goals. Now, Chipotle is adding one new benefit for some workers and testing another.

Two women sit with a toddler in a Chipotle.

Chipotle plans to offer longer parental leave for some workers. Image source: Chipotle.

What is Chipotle doing?

The fast-casual Mexican-food chain will increase its paid parental leave for "restaurant support center and eligible field employees to 12 weeks for birth moms and four weeks for new dads and individuals adopting children," according to a press release.

"Over the past year, we've positioned ourselves as a leader in curating an environment that maximizes the potential of our outstanding workforce," said Chipotle Chief People Officer Marissa Andrada in the press release. "We want to ensure our employees are able to share important moments with their family and have the necessary time away from work to recharge after a monumental life event."

The chain is also testing an unlimited paid time off plan for senior-level staff.

Why is Chipotle doing this?

No company wants to lose talented workers. Chipotle isn't just battling Taco Bell and other chains for customers, it's also competing against them for workers. Moves like this may entice employees to stay longer or prevent them from leaving at all. That's a major cost savings for the company and it keeps experienced people from bringing their knowledge to a rival.