Starbucks Canada Extends Partner (Employee) Care Resources and Support amid COVID-19

The company’s catastrophe pay now includes those who feel unsafe coming to work and those who need to stay home to care for children.

As Canada mobilizes to limit the spread of COVID-19 and things continue to change daily, Starbucks remains committed to prioritizing partner (employee) and customer care.

Today, in a letter to all partners from Starbucks Canada president, Lori Digulla, announced two measures to expand on the partner care resources and support that were introduced last week.

The first is to extend the 14-day catastrophe pay for scheduled shifts, to now include partners who are worried about or are feeling unsafe coming to work, as well as partners who need to stay home to care for children.

“I want to reinforce that none of us should have to choose between taking care of ourselves and coming to work,” Digulla wrote. “We will continue to keep your safety and care at the heart of every single decision we make – and we’re making them daily in these unprecedented times.” 

In addition to expanded catastrophe pay, Starbucks also announced that it will temporarily waive eligibility requirements and documentation for the company’s emergency financial aid CUP Fund. Partners who have been impacted by COVID-19 can request a one-time grant to support a personal financial hardship. The payment will then be expedited within three days.

“Our teams continue to push for additional ways to support you and our customers,” Digulla wrote today. “We’re doing the very best we can to honour our mission and values while keeping you safe and secure.”

Safety Measures Implemented in Stores

Based on public health official guidance, the company has implemented social distancing operating models and expanded sanitizing and cleaning processes to ensure stores remain safe spaces for partners who want to come to work, and they continue to make daily decisions.

Safety measures include:

  • Doubling down on cleaning, sanitizing and food safety practices to help prevent the spread of all germs. Health officials have assessed these control measures and assured us that these are extremely effective actions to protect partners and customers
  • Discouraging social gatherings by closing stores in malls and other social gathering environments
  • Encouraging social distancing actions by removing tables and chairs from our cafes to eliminate customer clusters
  • Modifying the condiment bar in all stores
  • Modifying the MOP handoff plane on a store by store basis
  • Changing our cash handling procedure, allowing (but not requiring) gloves for partners in these roles
  • Reducing the number of partners behind the bar to further increase distancing between partners

thumbnail for At a Glance: Our Response to COVID-19

At a Glance: Our Response to COVID-19