Starbucks makes changes to staff benefits

Starbucks’ employees have been asked to sign revised employment terms, which include the addition of a contributory pension scheme, the removal of paid lunch breaks, and changes to sick leave and maternity benefits.

The changes will affect around 7,000 staff at 750 UK coffee shops.

A consultation with peer-selected employees from across the UK was launched in July. A spokesperson from Starbucks said: “The decisions we have taken over the past few months have been about finding the right way to structure packages so that they are balanced across pay, benefits and development.”

The changes include:

  • The introduction of a contributory pension scheme. Staff can contribute 1% of their salary, which will be matched by the company. Assistant store managers will have up to 2% matched contributions, while store managers will have up to 3% matched contributions.
  • The removal of a three-month vesting period for life insurance cover. Cover will begin on day one of employment.
  • The removal of paid 30-minute lunch breaks.
  • The removal of paid company sick leave for the first day of illness. Total entitlement will remain the same.
  • The removal of cash incentives for becoming partner or manager of the year. This will be replaced by a plaque.
  • The removal of hampers for new mothers. This will be replaced by a card and present.
  • The removal of birthday cards, and congratulations cards after four years’ service. The cards will still be provided at five, 10, 15 and 20 years’ service.

The spokesperson said: “We are committed to providing competitive pay and benefits to all our [employees] and, in fact, this is one of the largest investments that we make in our business in the UK.

“Over the summer, we looked at our full range of benefits and asked all partners how much value they place on all elements including their breaks. Pay is one of a range of benefits that partners receive at Starbucks.

“All employees, part and full-time, are called partners because they receive shares in the business called Bean Stock. At the last grant, baristas with a year’s service received shares worth more than £400. There is currently £20-million worth of unrealised Bean Stock among our [employees], waiting for them to realise its benefit. Some [employees] have used this as a deposit for a new home or to pay for their wedding.

“Partners also have the opportunity to earn externally recognised qualifications while working at Starbucks. Our apprenticeship scheme – we are offering 1,000 over the next two years – gives young people the chance to earn qualifications while getting work experience. Our 12-month programme gives them a Level-2 apprenticeship.”