Will part-timers flock to Lidl after grocer offers health insurance for all?
German grocer Lidl’s initial entry into the U.S. in 2017 may not have been as smooth as hoped for, but the 70+ store chain is opening new stores and reports suggest that management is figuring out what it takes to succeed on this side of the Atlantic.
One key to success that Lidl undoubtedly knew before coming to America is happy associates. Now, the chain is giving its workers another reason to feel good about their place of work. Lidl announced that it will allow all associates, regardless of the number of hours they work on a weekly basis, to participate in the company’s health insurance plan beginning in January. Around 1,200 part-timers will be eligible to buy into the company’s medical coverage at that time.
“We want our team to have the peace of mind knowing they have healthcare coverage,” said Roman Heini, chairman of Lidl US, in a statement. “Giving team members working part-time at Lidl access to medical benefits is incredibly important and it will help them succeed. As we continue to expand, we are committed to supporting all our employees so they can be at their best.”
Lidl’s announcement comes at a time when others in the grocery space are looking to limit medical benefits for employees. Last month, Whole Foods Market announced that employees working fewer than 30 hours a week would no longer be eligible to buy into the company’s health insurance. The previous requirement for associates to participate in the plan was 20 hours. The Amazon.com-owned company said about 1,900 workers would be affected as a result of the change.
Lidl expects to invest up to $9 million in the first year of its health plan initiative, with the investment growing as it continues to expand its operations in the U.S. In addition to medical benefits, part-timers working less than 30 hours per week will be able to receive dental and vision insurance.
- Lidl US to Provide Medical Benefits to All Part-Time Employees – Lidl US
- Did Whole Foods just give conscious capitalism a swift kick to the curb? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How important will Lidl’s medical benefits program be as a recruiting tool for new employees? Is it a wise competitive move considering that many grocers are trimming costs by scaling back on health insurance?