Starbucks China to introduce critical illness insurance for employees’ parents

International coffee organisation Starbucks is to launch a new parent care programme in China, providing employer-paid critical illness insurance for the parents of its full-time employees.

The benefit, effective from 1 June 2017, will be available to parents of full-time employees who have at least two years’ service and who work in Starbucks-operated stores in mainland China.

To be eligible for the critical illness insurance, employees’ parents must be below the age of 75 and residing in mainland China. The programme is expected to benefit over 10,000 parents.

The new benefit will cover the medical treatment of 30 common critical illnesses.

The critical illness benefit has been designed to meet employee needs, after the organisation investigated requests to its Starbucks Caring Unites Partners (CUP) Fund in China, which provides financial assistance to employees and their families in times of need. The CUP Fund request analysis found that more than 70% of Chinese employees are concerned about the health of their parents as they age, and 80% of single retail staff in China are specifically concerned about being able to financially provide for their parents’ long-term care should they develop a critical illness.

The parent care programme builds on the organisation’s current health insurance coverage, which is available to both full and part-time employees in China, as well as their spouses and children.

Starbucks China, which employs approximately 40,000 staff, also offers a housing allowance subsidy for full-time baristas and shift supervisors, as well as a sabbatical leave programme.

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

“Through this new investment, we are stepping up on our responsibility to help our [employees] take care of their ageing parents by alleviating the financial costs that may arise during a family emergency. Starbucks’ success in China is directly attributed to the passion and dedication of our [employees] as well as the unwavering support from their family.”