- Hannaford will now offer six weeks of fully paid parental leave for employees who average at least 30 hours of work a week and have been with the company for at least one year, the Portland Press Herald reported.
- Hannaford's vice president of human resources Margo Peffer told the Press Herald that the new policy is a response to employee feedback. A recent survey found employees wanted paid leave for all new parents regardless of gender or gender identity.
- The policy will go into effect Sunday. New parents who qualify will be eligible for the paid leave during the first year after the birth, adoption or legal placement of a child.
Hannaford is making a shrewd move in offering parental leave, a benefit most retail businesses reserve for full-time employees. Peffer told the Press Herald that "unemployment has been really low, which has put a lot of pressure on our ability to attract talent, and what we’re really trying to focus on is creating that inclusive environment inside of the store."
Across the board, retailers are looking more closely at benefit packages to keep qualified workers. Walmart expanded its paid parental and maternity leave policies last year. New Seasons Market became one of the first regional grocery stores in the country to offer paid parental in 2018 as well. This summer, Target extended childcare and family leave benefits for 350,000 employees regardless of their full or part-time status.
Millennials, in particular, are looking for benefits perhaps even more than higher salaries. A survey of 5,000 millennials by the recruiting firm LaSalle Network found that the generation measures job satisfaction through benefits packages, which includes flexible working arrangements in addition to medical coverage and 401(K) match.
Hannaford, which operates under Ahold Delhaize, has been making other changes to stay ahead of its competition. The company recently introduced Hannaford to Go at many locations, expanded self-checkout kiosks and has updated some of its 181 stores in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.