General Motors’ model family is a diverse one, covering everything from city cars to electric super trucks, and new changes to its employee benefits package recognize that its employees’ families are equally diverse.
Salaried employees of GM can now add same-sex domestic partners and their children, or opposite-sex unmarried partners and their children, to their health plans. And transgender GM staff now have access to medical procedures including voice modification and facial feminization treatments.
“As we look at family dynamics, we want to ensure that the benefits we extend to employees reflect today’s households and meet their needs,” a GM spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press. “Employee feedback lead us to extend domestic partner benefits. This is an important step toward that vision of greater inclusion as well as advancing equity within our workforce and their families.”
While this is great news for GM employees and their families who didn’t previously qualify for health cover, the benefits aren’t unique, even among automakers. Both Stellantis and Ford already offer similar coverage, and GM’s announcement is all about helping it recruit and retain the best talent in the sector.
Related: GM Is Taking On The Tesla Powerwall Through New Energy Storage Business
The coverage applies only to GM’s salaried employees and not its hourly workers because those workers’ benefits are negotiated with the UAW, according to the same report, which adds that an employee wanting a health package for his or herself plus partner and kids might be required to contribute between $60 and $540 per month. The cost is the same for both married and unmarried families.
Obviously, there’s a cost to GM and other automakers like Ford when making benefits more inclusive, but extending the coverage to include unmarried and same-sex partners doesn’t necessarily saddle the companies with huge additional bills. One reason for that is that only 7 percent of adults in the U.S. are cohabiting but not married according to Gallup data, and another is that any rise in that number is likely to be matched by a corresponding decrease in the number of people getting married.