In mid-March, Chapman’s Ice Cream began paying employees an extra $2 an hour as the government introduced restrictions on non-essential businesses.
Now, the family-owned business says it will make the pandemic pay raise permanent. That means the starting wage for employees is $18 per hour, which increases $18.50 after a three-month probation period.
“You don’t want to get into a position where, as an employer and as a leader, you’re taking something away from your employees,” said company VP Ashley Chapman.
But what about the economics!?, shareholders will wonder. “The only shareholders are people with the last name Chapman, so as a family we made this decision,” said Chapman. Most importantly, it was “the right thing to do.”
Meanwhile, in June, Canadian giants Loblaws, Metro, and Sobeys decided not to extend pandemic pay for workers. It has not be reinstated despite COVID-19’s second wave.
Chapman’s was founded in Markdale, Ontario in 1973 and remains family-owned. At the onset of the pandemic, after being forced to shut down both of its production facilities, the company offered every worker a $1,000 interest-free loan. Most of the $180,000 loaned out has been repaid.
As for the money shelled out for increased wages? “I can’t tell you exactly how or where the money is going to come from. We’re just going to make it happen,” said Chapman.