With companies having to compete for workers to fill job openings, Bed Bath & Beyond has announced a number of new employee benefits.
Starting July 1, the retailer will implement three new paid benefit programs including paid parental leave, short-term disability, and an associate relief fund.
The company will also close its stores on Thanksgiving Day, the latest retailer to announce that step as holiday sales and promotions increasingly move online.
"Our purpose is to make it easy to feel at home, and that begins right here with our associates and making investments that elevate our people-powered culture," said Lynda Markoe, chief people and culture officer at Bed Bath & Beyond. "We're thrilled to implement these new company-paid programs to support the well-being of our associates and their loved ones.”
The new benefit programs include:
Paid parental leave: This industry-leading program will provide for 100% of pay for up to 8 weeks after the birth, adoption or fostering of a new child for parents. This program will be offered to all US benefits-eligible, full-time Associates.
Company-paid short-term disability: Currently, company employees have the option of paying for a short-term disability program. Starting July 1, Bed, Bath & Beyond will cover the cost and provide 100% of pay for up to eight weeks and 60% of pay thereafter up to 26 weeks. The program will be offered to all US benefits-eligible full-time associates.
Associate relief fund: The creation of a fund to support associates through various hardships. All employees, full-time and part-time, will be eligible to request grants through the fund. The company will pay the costs of the program with an initial company investment and will match 50% of all employee contributions through the rest of the fiscal year.
Effects of the pandemic
The rise in corporate benefits for employees can be traced to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Not only have some businesses taken steps to reward the efforts of their employees, but they also hope to keep the workers they have while attracting new ones to fill open slots.
With airports once again filled with travelers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport restaurants are scrambling for employees. The TSA is offering $1,000 hiring bonuses as part of its push to add 6,000 screeners by the end of September.
Oregon hospitals are facing a nursing crunch, again largely caused by the pandemic. Many told The Oregonian the emergency rooms have been filled lately with patients suffering mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.