PepsiCo Inc., Purchase, N.Y., it will provide enhanced benefits to all U.S.-based employees and additional compensation to U.S. frontline employees — the women and men who make, move and sell products — amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The additional compensation covers more than 90,000 frontline employees at both PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA) and PepsiCo Foods North America (PFNA) and consists of a minimum of an incremental $100 a week for full-time employees during the next month. PepsiCo also announced it will hire 6,000 new, full-time, full-benefit frontline employees across the United States in the coming months.
"With COVID-19 reshaping the way we run our business and live our lives, it's important that we acknowledge the people keeping us steady during turbulent times, notably the heroic work of the millions of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals around the world," said Ramon Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, in a statement. "At the same time, there is important work being done in other sectors, including our own, to help maintain the supply of foods and beverages. We couldn't be prouder of our PepsiCo team for the role they play in restocking pantries and refrigerators."
The following are some of the enhanced PepsiCo benefits to all U.S. employees:
- Employees who must quarantine will receive 100 percent of their pay during the up to 14-day quarantine period. The quarantine period will not reduce accrued unused sick days, nor will there be a negative impact to attendance records.
- Employees who have been assessed by a doctor and are either showing symptoms or are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive 100 percent of their pay during the 14-day quarantine period. Beginning week three, employees will receive sick pay/short-term disability benefits, which will provide a minimum of two-thirds of their pay, for up to 10 weeks.
- Employees who are caring for a family member living in the same household who has been assessed by a doctor and is either showing symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive 100 percent of their pay during the 14-day quarantine period. Beginning week three, if they are not able to work from home, they will receive a minimum of two-thirds of their pay for up to 10 weeks. If they are working from home, their full pay will be continued.
- Employees who work at a facility that must be closed will receive 100 percent pay for up to 12 weeks.
- Employees who are impacted by school or day care center closure with no one home to look after a child, will receive a minimum of two-thirds of their pay for up to 12 weeks if they are not able to work from home.
- Employees also are eligible for free COVID-19 testing, a "Crisis Care" reimbursement of $100 a day for child care, and access to specially trained mental health professionals.
"There's hardly a pantry in America that does not have a Frito-Lay and Quaker product, and in recent weeks, providing those products has become increasingly challenging," said Steven Williams, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Foods North America. "Our frontline employees — the people you see stocking your favorite bags of chips or canisters of oats, the people driving those products there and the ones originally making them in plants across the country — are the backbone of PepsiCo Foods and we appreciate their heroic efforts."
Kirk Tanner, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America, added: "At this unprecedented time, which is having a profound impact on all of us, we are so grateful to our frontline employees for all they are doing to ensure our products are available for families across the country. We know our products on store shelves provide a sense of stability and normalcy to consumers during trying times. This is our way to recognize the critical role our frontline plays in our organization, now and always."
PepsiCo has also taken key steps to protect the health and safety of its employees while at work, including but not limited to: increased cleaning frequency of facilities and assets, expanded availability of gloves and actively encouraging practicing good hygiene, stepped up visitor screening and restrictions, and where possible, decreasing routing and merchandising to minimize exposure.
During this time of crisis, PepsiCo believes that the private and public sectors should join together to provide assistance and aid to the most vulnerable, it says. PepsiCo's philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation, is mobilizing its resources to invest up to $11 million to provide food, water and other critical support to communities affected by COVID-19 around the world.
In the United States, PepsiCo is partnering with the USDA and the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty to deliver 1 million food boxes to students in rural America, including a $1 million commitment. The company's Food for Good program aims to provide 200,000 meals weekly to students and distribute at least 1 million meals over the next month to impacted U.S. communities. PepsiCo also has provided $100,000 to Feeding Westchester to help distribute shelf-stable meals and fresh produce to local residents across Westchester County, N.Y.
Globally, PepsiCo is donating $200,000 to each Red Cross in Italy, Spain, France and $100,000 to the Red Cross in Lebanon. PepsiCo also is investing $1.5 million with the Global FoodBanking Network to provide water and nutrition solutions to 12 countries affected by COVID-19 in Latin America. In China, the company provided $1.1 million to Hubei Red Cross Foundation and China Women's Development Foundation to provide protective gear and help frontline responders' and physicians' efforts in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in severely affected areas of China.