Starbucks China staff benefits programme offers education, health and pet care

A new Starbucks China staff benefits programme has been launched, with a range of support options for employees who have served two years. 

From January 1, qualifying partners (employees) will each be given credits they can use to select from a range of benefits. Each benefit has been designed to meet the needs and aspirations of different partners in the increasingly diverse Starbucks China Family.

With an estimated 18,500 partners eligible for the Starbucks China staff benefits programme, dubbed Flex Star Benefits, the initiative constitutes a significant investment for the company.

To support partners’ physical and mental well-being, Starbucks encourages them to use their credits to learn a new skill, or take up a hobby that relaxes the mind and body amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Partners may also simply apply for a five- or 10-day mini ‘coffee break’ to recharge their batteries.

Protecting partners’ health is another area the new programme covers. Partners may use credits for HPV vaccinations that protect against diseases like cervical cancer. The benefit can be extended to partners’ female family members and even friends, a first for Starbucks. In addition, the credits can be used to upgrade partners’ current benefits such as annual health checkups.

The Starbucks China staff benefits programme also supports partners in taking care of those who matter most to them. For partners working away from their hometowns, the programme allows up to three additional days of paid leave so that they can spend more time with their families on their home visits. They also have the option to use their credits for discounted travel tickets, to allay any financial concerns should they need to return home in the event of a family emergency.

In addition, Flex Star Benefits expand Starbucks existing schemes to cover ‘life partners’ beyond the immediate family – regardless of status or gender. Another inclusion is ‘pawternal care’ benefits for pets. Under the new programme, pet-owning partners may enroll their pets into an insurance scheme or claim reimbursement for their pets’ medical expenses. Partners who adopt pets will be granted an additional day of annual leave.

Finally, Starbucks encourages partners to contribute to local communities, allowing them to earn additional credits by participating in social-impact activities. They can also donate their credits to the Starbucks China Cup Fund, to help fellow partners in urgent need of financial assistance.

“Starbucks success in China is down to the passion and dedication our partners bring to work every day – in every cup of coffee they brew, and every customer connection they make,” said Starbucks China chairman and CEO Belinda Wong. 

“Since entering China 20 years ago, Starbucks has always strived to be a different kind of company. We want to share our success with all partners, in a timely and thoughtful manner that recognises their individual needs – because each of our 55,000 partners is special.” 


Over the years, Starbucks has introduced benefits such as comprehensive insurance for spouses and children of all partners, and critical illness insurance for parents. Housing subsidies are provided to 26,000 partners who work away from their hometowns, while partners may also apply to return to work in newly-opened Starbucks stores in their hometowns under the Coming Home programme.

In addition, Starbucks China also offers partners opportunities to expand their horizons through a talent exchange programme, which has helped more than 100 partners complete short-term work experience in other cities across China and overseas. And, under its global Bean Stock initiative, Starbucks granted US$21 million worth of its shares to partners across China last year.

Partners can access the Starbucks China staff benefits programme through the China Green Apron partner mobile app.

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