McDonald's franchises across the U.S. are expected to offer backup child care and other new benefits to help keep current employees and attract new ones.
In addition to emergency child care, the company is aiming to boost hourly pay, give workers paid time off and help cover tuition costs, the Wall Street Journal first reported.
The move not only helps restaurant employees, but helps the company attract and retain talent, a company spokesperson told CBS News in an email.
Many restaurants are having difficulty finding workers.
The swift U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic, fueled by the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, is at least temporarily empowering people in the notoriously low-paying leisure and hospitality industry to demand higher wages and better working conditions.
Some franchises will participate in a "backup care" pilot program for child and elderly care that is expected to roll out in several McDonald's locations this summer.
Another benefit is an increase in wages. Entry level positions will earn at least $11–$17 an hour, and shift managers will earn at least $15–$20 an hour, based on restaurant location.
In May, McDonald's said its company-owned restaurants were looking to hire 10,000 new employees over three months. It also said it would raise hourly wages by an average of 10% for more than 36,500 employees at McDonald's-owned restaurants.
"McDonald's is lucky to have the hardest working and most dedicated restaurant crew in the industry, who have tirelessly served our communities during this challenging year," the company said in a statement to CBS News, adding that McDonald's-owned restaurants already offered eligible employees paid time off, access to education, employee assistance, a 401(k) plan and other rewards programs.
In 2018, McDonald's said it would allocate $150 million over five years to its Archways to Opportunity program. The program was expected to help 400,000 U.S. restaurant employees earn a high school diploma, earn tuition assistance for college courses, access academic advising courses and take English as a second language courses, according to a press release.
Since its launch, the Archways to Opportunity program has increased access to education for over 65,000 restaurant employees, and McDonald's has awarded more than $125 Million in tuition assistance, according to a press release.
The National Franchise Leadership Alliance has endorsed McDonald's new employee benefits program, or the Employee Value Proposition. David Costa, People Team Lead at the alliance said "McDonald's franchisees have prioritized their people and offered a variety of incentives to attract and retain top talent in their local communities" for decades.