Amid the ongoing coronavirus situation, US Democrats in Congress proposed legislation that would require employers to give workers 14 days of paid sick leave during public health emergencies. The legislation also wanted to ensure that paid sick leave covered days when a child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency.

The bill was not passed. However, many large brands have taken the initiative to change their own sick leave policies.

McDonald’s announced that workers at the brand’s company-owned stores will receive paid sick leave if workers need to be quarantined in their homes. Only 700 units out of over 14,000 domestic units would be affected by this policy but it is a start.

Starbucks, one of the only chains to have an employee test positive for coronavirus at a location, announced emergency catastrophe pay that temporarily pays employees who are quarantined or have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Executive vice president of Starbucks, Rossann Williams, said in an open letter to employees that at Starbucks employees should never have to choose between work and taking care of themselves.

Starbucks also announced its new mental health care plan for employees, partnering with Lyra Health to introduce twenty free therapy sessions and other mental health resources for employees.

What cues, if any, will New Zealand businesses take from their global counterparts?