With my extra quarantine time, I started mapping out my daughter’s first-year scrapbook. When she was born in December, the idea of devoting an entire page to something called COVID-19 would have sounded outrageous, but here we are—and all of us have an entire page (at least!) to fill with stories on how the global pandemic has impacted our lives.
Employers, trustees, administrators and plan professionals have their own stories to tell, many with a central theme of understanding participant needs.
Employers Are Expanding Benefit Offerings and Helping Employees Manage Fear
A recent International Foundation webcast, Benefits Together: Perspectives on Pandemic Response, featured leaders from three organizations explaining how they are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing unique worker concerns during these times of uncertainty.
Regina Reardon, President, Healthcare Strategies Inc., Administrator for UFCW Local 1776 in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, explained new benefit offerings her organization has implemented in response to COVID-19, including telemedicine for both medical and mental health appointments. They have also extended prescription drug prior authorizations for 90 days and relaxed criteria for disability benefits.
Paula Stop, CEBS, Director of Total Rewards at the Fresh Market, discussed the financial resources her company is expanding during this uncertain time—Financial wellness programs, pay advance programs, student loan refinancing, and FAQs on FMLA, short term disability and quarantine pay are helping to protect and support employees.
Joanna Gomes, CEBS, Manager of Pensions and Benefits for Bimbo Canada, talked about her organization’s current focus on managing fear, especially for employees being asked to come into the plant and distribution centers daily. Frontline managers meet with their team at the beginning of every shift, providing facts on the situation and the safety measures in place.
[Upcoming Webcast: Newfound Angst: Combating COVID-19 Stress and Anxiety | April 16, 2020]
Tune in to Benefits Together: Perspectives on Pandemic Response to hear more. You may even feel inspired to share your own story—You and your colleagues across North America can learn from one another during this unprecedented crisis.
The forecast this weekend is cold and rainy. I guess it’s scrapbook time!
Coronavirus and the Workplace
Find more resources for plan sponsors:
- Visit the International Foundation Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources page
- Catch up on the latest COVID-19 and the workplace issues from Word on Benefits
- Tune in to live or on-demand webcasts
Communications Associate at the International Foundation
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