Starbucks China to offer critical illness insurance plans for employees’ parents

Starbucks Coffee Company is introducing critical illness insurance plans for parents of full-time employees in mainland China beginning June 1, 2017.

“Supporting critical illnesses for aging parents exemplifies what we believe is our responsibility as a global public company and honors the family values deeply-rooted in the Chinese culture,” said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks, in a news release.

Read: Starbucks expands housing, sabbatical benefits to Chinese employees

In 2010, the company introduced a fund that provides financial assistance to employees and their families in times of need, and an analysis of the program coupled with conversations with employees revealed that more than 70 percent of them are concerned about the health of their parents as they age, notes the press release. As well, 80 per cent of retail employees in China are single and are specifically concerned about being able to meet financial demands for their parents’ long-term care should a critical illness occur.

Read: Starbucks expands parental leave for U.S. employees

“Culturally, parents play an important role in the lives and career choices of our Chinese partners and they are a natural extension of our Starbucks family in China,” said Belinda Wong, chief executive officer at Starbucks China.

“Through this new investment, we are stepping up on our responsibility to help our partners take care of their aging parents by alleviating the financial costs that may arise during a family emergency.”

Apart from the new benefit, Starbucks China provides health insurance to all employees, their spouses and children. It also has a Starbucks China University and talent exchange program in the country, and provides full-time employees with housing allowance subsidies and sabbaticals.

Read: Starbucks Canada increases mental-health benefits to $5,000