Women in the labor force were hit particularly hard during the coronavirus pandemic, but some big chain restaurants are hoping to bring more workers back by offering bigger and better benefits. McDonald’s, in particular, is aiming to boost hourly pay, give workers paid time off and help cover tuition costs, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Lack of access to affordable, high-quality child care has kept many people out of the workplace, especially women, millions of whom left the labor force amidst the pandemic. With a 10% unemployment rate, the Wall Street Journal noted that restaurant and bar employment remains 1.3 million workers lower than in 2020.
“We need to make sure if we’re going to have a strong recovery — a strong, equitable recovery — we need to get women back into the workforce,” said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in an NPR interview.
McDonald’s is one of the largest U.S. private employers with around 800,000 employees. As GOBankingRates previously reported, the fast-food chain said in May that it would increase its starting pay in company-owned restaurants to $11 to $17 per hour and would continue to assess wages. Now, a group of McDonald’s franchisees are expected to begin offering emergency child and elder care this summer and will decide by the end of the year whether to expand it, according to WSJ.
The National Franchise Leadership Alliance has endorsed McDonald’s new employee benefits program, called the Employee Value Proposition, reports CBS.
“McDonald’s franchisees have prioritized their people and offered a variety of incentives to attract and retain top talent in their local communities,” David Costa, People Team lead at the alliance, said.
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