- Grocery retailer Lidl US announced Tuesday a plan to offer all part-time workers health care coverage. The Virginia-based chain said 1,200 part-time employees in all 70 stores will be able to buy its medical coverage starting Jan. 1, 2020.
- Lidl US said it plans to invest up to $9 million in the first year the medical benefit is offered and continue the investment as the company grows. In addition to medical coverage, part-time employees will have dental and vision care coverage.
- "We want our team to have the peace of mind knowing they have healthcare coverage," Lidl US Chairman Roman Heini said in a media release. "Giving team members working part-time at Lidl access to medical benefits is incredibly important and it will help them succeed."
As employers, especially retailers, struggle to acquire and retain talent, many have made similar announcements to Lidl's. A study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans confirms this trend. The foundation's Flexible Work Arrangements: 2017 Survey Report found that at employers with part-time employees, health care is the most common benefit offered to them.
Some have gone beyond that or focused elsewhere. Target announced in June that it would offer its part-time employees paid leave benefits as well as backup or emergency care to those with child or eldercare responsibilities. Both benefits are expected to rate high among workers because of their problem-solving and money-saving qualities.
Others, however, say they haven't found success with such offerings. Whole Foods, Amazon's grocery division, announced just last month that it would cut the medical benefits of its 1,900 part-time workers nationwide. Whole Foods explained the cuts as financially necessary, and said it would provide affected workers with resources to find alternate health care coverage.