Starbucks announces new sick time benefit, parental leave expansion
- Starbucks has announced a new employee benefit that allows workers to accrue sick time based on hours worked and also use those hours to care for a family member. Sick time will accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, the company says, so an employee working 23 hours per week would accrue about five days of sick time each year.
- Starbucks also says it will provide employees with a stock grant. Retail employees will receive at least a $500 grant and store managers will receive a $2000 grant. Non-retail plant and support center workers also will receive a grant based on their salaries but the company did not disclose the rate at which they will be granted.
- For store employees, Starbucks said it also has expanded its parental leave policy to include all non-birth parents with up to 6 weeks of paid leave when welcoming a new child. These offerings were accelerated by the recent changes to U.S. tax law, the company said.
Starbucks offers an array of attractive, innovative benefits that can give employers a competitive advantage in recruiting and hiring. The retail industry has been associated with low pay, high turnover and no benefits, but retailers like Starbucks and IKEA are changing that perception by offering all employees — part-time and full-time, hourly and salaried — pay increases and benefits.
Retailers, in particular, have struggled to overcome the challenges of a job seeker's market. Jobs are much harder to fill, especially if pay and benefits remain (or are perceived to be) low. Innovative employers have sought ways to shift these perceptions, however, through strong employer branding and more relevant benefits offerings.
Some employers are offering voluntary benefits, including identity theft protection, pet insurance, language-learning and fertility benefits. These benefits are popular with employees who want and are willing to pay for benefits that are aligned with their personal needs and interests, and could be an affordable way for employers to improve retention.