LA Times: Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent of eateries such as Olive Garden and Red Lobster, said it will not bump any of its full-time employees down to part-time status to save on healthcare costs once President Obama’s reforms go into effect. Darden had tried to measure the potential costs of healthcare reform by hiring more part-time workers in a controversial four-market test earlier this year.
That test failed, miserably:
But data collected during the tests showed that full-time workers were “integral” to success and guest satisfaction and employee engagement … The company this week lowered its profit and revenue projections for the quarter ended Nov. 25. The cost-cutting tests — along with the resulting “negative media coverage” — were partly responsible for the sour outlook, according to Darden.
But here’s a few more facts that I found fascinating:
Washington Post: Right now, employers spend $15,000 on an employee’s health benefits when they could be spending…absolutely nothing. No law currently requires employers to offer health insurance. But the vast majority do so because it serves their interests: They can remain competitive when recruiting employees and keep their workforce healthier and more productive. It also helps a lot that health benefits are essentially tax-free compensation, giving employers yet another incentive to deliver workers’ wages in the form of insurance benefits.
This probably explains why a Towers-Watson survey of 512 large companies found exactly zero planning to drop insurance coverage.
Get that, not one company planned to drop health insurance.