American retail chain Kroger will provide a one-time bonus to all hourly grocery, supply chain, manufacturing and customer service employees, to recognise their hard work dealing with the high demand for products during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
Every full-time employee will receive an extra $300 (£259), while part-time staff will receive $150 (£129). The bonus will be paid to employees who were hired on or before 1 March 2020, and will be paid on 1 April.
On 21 March, Kroger also expanded its Coronavirus emergency leave guidelines. Previously, this policy, introduced on 14 March, provided paid leave for employees diagnosed with Coronavirus or placed under quarantine; it now includes those conducting self-isolation or presenting with those symptoms verified by healthcare professionals. In all cases, these employees will be eligible to receive their standard pay for up to two weeks.
Rodney McMullen, chairman and chief executive officer at Kroger said: “Grocery employees are on the front lines, ensuring Americans have access to the food and products they need during this unprecedented pandemic.
“Our employees are working around the clock to keep our stores open for our customers. I am incredibly grateful for all they are doing. The true heroes in this story are our employees, and we want to provide them with additional resources and support to help them continue their remarkable effort.
“In every decision we make, we strive to balance our most urgent mission, to be here for our communities when they need us most, with ensuring the safety of our associates, customers and communities.”
Tim Massa, senior vice president and chief people officer at Kroger, added: “We believe that by expanding our emergency leave guidelines, more of our employees can feel certain knowing that if their health is affected by or if they experience symptoms of Covid-19, they will be supported while they stay at home and recover.
“We are appreciative of all of our managers who have been working individually with staff in recognition that every [employee’s] situation is personal. We also want to make it easier for [staff] to follow our guidance to stay home if they feel sick and to do our part to flatten the curve.”