Will More Full-Timers Give Cumberland Farms a Competitive Edge?
All large retail chains are faced with the same situation. Beginning January 1, 2014, they will either have to provide healthcare coverage for workers averaging 30 hours a week or more or pay a penalty of $2,000 per uncovered employee under the "Pay or Play" provision in the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). While some plan to reduce workers’ hours to avoid covering them, Cumberland Farms, a 600-store convenience store chain in the eastern U.S. and Florida, is taking a completely different approach.
The company announced plans to offer more hours to an additional 1,500 employees, making them eligible for its health insurance plan. The chain, which currently has 3,000 full-time and 4,200 part-time employees, will have 4,500 full-timers and 2,700 part-timers after the reclassification.
"We could have pushed everybody [now working] under 40 hours below 30," Ari Haseotes, president and chief operating officer of the family-owned chain, told the Orlando Sentinel. "We’re making a proactive effort here to go above and beyond, and clearly differentiate ourselves in the job market as a place to come to work."
"This is a great opportunity for us to put our money where our mouth is," John McMahon, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Cumberland, told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "We are walking the walk about being a people-oriented organization."
Mr. McMahon said the company planned to work with store managers over the next three months to identify strong employees who are interested in working more hours and move them to full-time.
- Cumberland Group Announces Health Care Reform Policy to Benefit Employees – Cumberland Farms
- Chain retailer to make more staff eligible for health plans – Orlando Sentinel
- Cumberland Farms converting workforce to fulltime – New Hampshire Union Leader
What do you think of Cumberland Farms’ decision to move a greater percentage of its workforce to full-time status rather than reducing hours to get around the Affordable Care Act? How will this policy affect the chain’s ability to attract and retain talent? What effect, if any, will it have on how customers view the chain?