SEATTLE – The 180,000 Starbucks employees in the U.S. can now receive up to 10 days a year of backup child care and/or senior care, thanks to a new benefit reported in the Seattle Times.
For example, if an employee’s child care plans fall through— if the child is sick or school is canceled—the employee can take the child to a day care center for $5 a day or hire an in-home care provider for $1 an hour, and Starbucks picks up the remaining cost. The backup days also can be used to care for a parent or grandparent, hiring in-home help with meal preparation or for medication.
The coffee company isn’t disclosing the anticipated cost of the new benefit. It is part of a package of pay raises and new perks that Starbucks has said will cost an estimated $250 million—or about $1,390 per employee—in the first year.
Other new employee benefits include enhancements to the company’s parental leave policy, a sick-leave pay policy that abides by Washington State’s new rules taking effect next year and a pay increase and stock grant in April. Previously, the company implemented a broad employee assistance program with benefits, such as mental health care coverage.
From Starbucks’ perspective, the benefits are important because management wants employees to come to work with fewer worries, a spokesperson said. It’s also another enticement for potential Starbucks employees in a historically tight U.S. labor market.