Best Buy has added another benefit for working parents: backup child care.
The company has contracted with Care@Work to provide both full- and part-time employees, whether they work at stores or corporate headquarters, 10 days of subsidized care per year. The employee copay is $10.
"No one should ever have to choose between coming to work or making sure they have quality care for their child," said Charlie Montreuil, Best Buy's senior vice president of human resources.
Best Buy joins companies such as General Mills, Abbott Laboratories and Allianz Life Insurance Co. in offering the benefit. Starbucks this fall started offering 10 days of subsidized care.
General Mills offers backup care for Twin Cities employees through a partnership with Bright Horizons centers. In addition, the company has a Bright Horizons infant care center at its Golden Valley headquarters. The company also pays 85 percent of the cost of sick child care through two providers.
Richfield-based Best Buy has said it is investing in its labor force, including benefits for employees, partly because of the lower federal corporate taxes passed last December.
It also has added four weeks of paid caregiver leave and said it will offer enhanced mental health benefits and paid time off to part-time workers. The paid caregiver leave is 100 percent pay for four weeks to care for children, parents, spouses or domestic partners.
Of the 100 companies on Working Mother magazine's list of best places to work, 91 offered backup child care as a benefit.
However, the survey for the 2018 trends report for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed only 4 percent of companies overall offer subsidized backup child care.
Family-friendly policies are becoming more prevalent, though, the SHRM survey found. More than one-third of companies now offer paid maternity leave, and nearly 30 percent offer paternity and adoption leave.
Of the companies that told SHRM they increased benefits in 2017, 72 percent cited retention of employees as the reason. More than half said it also was to boost recruitment of new workers.
General Mills also expanded its paid-leave policy, now offering 18 to 20 weeks for maternal leave, 12 weeks for paternal or adoptive leave and an allowance for other life needs.
"We want to keep innovating in how we meet their evolving needs," said Jacqueline Williams-Roll, chief human resources officer, in a statement.
Catherine Roberts • 612-673-4292