Booz Allen Hamilton redirects $100 million to boost benefits

Booz Allen Hamilton is redirecting $100 million of its budget for enhanced benefits and other COVID-19 needs in an effort to help its employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative includes “major benefit program enhancements to support employees dealing with health, childcare and COVID-related issues,” says the Virginia-based consulting firm. It also is pledging job security for all of its 27,000 employees through July 1.

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Read more strategies for HR leaders during the pandemic.

“These moves will help protect the health and financial security of our people, their loved ones and their communities during a very uncertain, difficult time,” Horacio Rozanski, Booz Allen’s president and CEO, says in a statement. “Supporting our people empowers them to fully support our clients in this time of critical need. Our business is our people, and this is just the right thing to do.”

Initiatives will be financed by reprioritizing planned spending, including the elimination of many events and a variety of other overhead expenses, as well as a hiring freeze in non-billable departments, the company says.

Related: Ally Financial’s COVID-19 strategy: Embrace employee benefits

Booz Allen is the latest employer to turn to new and enhanced benefit offerings to help employees during the pandemic. A handful of companies are offering extra paid time off for those who are sick or self-quarantined, caregiving leave to help family members who are sick with the virus, and childcare support. Others, including Facebook and Ally Financial, have turned to bonuses and financial assistance payments to assist workers with incremental costs.

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Experts say companies’ extra assistance during the pandemic can help employees through the most stressful times of their careers, better support their health and wellbeing, and help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“Our employees are struggling,” Kathie Patterson, CHRO of Ally Financial, told HRE. “As a company, we say we like to demonstrate a high degree of care. This is the moment you’ve got to walk the talk.”

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Kathryn Mayer
Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s former benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver.