Electronics retail giant Best Buy is rolling out a new employee benefit, Backup Child Care, to offer busy parents ten days each year of subsidized care for its U.S. employees. All employees will have to pay to use the plan is a $10 co-pay.
The daily co-pay covers up to 10 hours of care that can be either at a center or the employee’s home and can be applied to multiple children. Both full and part-time employees are eligible to use the program.
The new benefit will be managed through a partnership between Richfield-based Best Buy and the Waltham, Massachusetts-based global online family care marketplace Care.com.
“Providing Backup Child Care was an easy decision to make, and we’re thrilled to offer it to all employees,” said Charlie Montreuil, Best Buy’s senior vice president of HR rewards, in a statement. “No one should ever have to choose between coming to work or making sure they have quality care for their child.”
The inspiration for the child care benefit came internally from one of its employees in Arlington, Virginia. Lanette Johnson, a department manager at a Best Buy in Arlington, had just had a baby and was back working after maternity leave. However, one day she couldn’t find care for her 4-month-old son Logan and decided rather than miss work to bring him into the store.
As part of his Renew Blue turnaround plan, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly has been keenly focused in improving diversity, training and the overall care of the company’s employees. Adding subsidized child care as a benefit fit naturally within Best Buy’s plan.
In fact, Joly told TCB in his 2018 Person of the Year profile that he believes Best Buy looks at these sort of needs “one employee at a time.”
Based on results of an employee survey, Best Buy also began offering paid caregiver leave to its employees this year, as well as paid time off for part-time employees, and mental health resources.
Best Buy employees have already been taking advantage of the new Backup Child Care program, according to Best Buy.
“I’ve had times I’ve had to miss work just because of time constraints,” said Angelica Sanchez, a Geek Squad agent in San Diego, in prepared remarks. “This definitely fills that gap where I don’t need to worry about whether I’ll be able to make it to work because I have my son with me. It’s really nice to have it there in case.”
Best Buy’s other two new benefits—paid time off for part-time employees and mental health resources—will go into effect early next year.