McDonald’s is among the latest employers to offer caregiving benefits to attract and retain employees. Restaurants in the U.S. were among the hardest-hit businesses during the pandemic, and many workers were let go as sales stalled.
Now desperate to attract and keep employees, companies are getting creative in the incentives they dangle in front of prospective workers. McDonald’s will co-fund, with franchisees, a new emergency child care program, CNBC reported.
The global fast-food chain is among a growing number of companies looking to provide caregiver benefits to compete for workers in a tight labor market. Bright Horizons Family Solutions, which manages employer-based child care and facilitates child care and educational benefits, has reported a greater demand for its services.
Companies that already offer backup care are also adding other benefits such as nanny or tutoring services.
MS International (MSI), a California-based tile, flooring, and countertop supply company, is partnering with an educational service to offer free one-on-one tutoring for the children of its hourly employees. All tutoring costs are covered for children in grades K-12 and for SAT and ACT test preparation. The aim is to reduce stress among employees worried about their children falling behind in school during the past year.
“We recognize how difficult remote learning or limited in-person instruction can be, and we’re excited to launch this program to help provide extra support for our employees’ children,” MSI president Raj Shah said in a statement announcing the benefit.
At the federal level, caregiving assistance is among the initiatives included in a $3.5 trillion budget Senate Democrats agreed to on July 13 to help get people back into the workforce. The plan calls for universal prekindergarten, expands caregiving for the disabled and elderly, subsidizes child care, extends child tax credits, offers national paid family leave, and expands Medicare. President Joe Biden calls the proposal, which includes climate change initiatives, “human infrastructure.”