Columbia’s Colonial Life touts more benefits, higher wages and HQ renovation
Colonial Life will offer a new paid parental leave benefit for mothers and fathers, increased compensation to a minimum of $15-an-hour. the company also announced a major renovation of its Columbia headquarters, and expanded charitable contributions.
The investments come on the heels of record 2017 sales for Colonial Life and record 2017 financial results for its parent company, Unum.
“These investments reflect our values and recognize the significant role that everyone at Colonial Life plays in delivering for our customers,” said Tim Arnold, president and CEO. “2017 was a great year, and one that would not be possible without the dedication of all of our people.”
The new parental leave benefit provides eligible employees six weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn, or a child placed through adoption or foster care, at any time during the 12 months following birth, adoption or fostering. The new benefit takes effect later this year.
“Paid parental leave allows parents to spend valuable time with children at a crucial point in their lives and can ease the transition back to work,” Arnold said.
Colonial Life also will enhance its compensation program so all employees earn at least $15 an hour. The pay bump affects about 70 employees based in Columbia — less than 6 percent of the total staff — and recognizes the significant role everyone at the company plays in delivering for customers, Arnold said.
The company also has begun an approximately $24 million investment in its Columbia headquarters. “We’re renovating our campuses from top to bottom to create a more modern, collaborative and customer-focused environment designed to drive greater creativity and partnership,” Arnold said.
The revitalized buildings will feature open work spaces with enhanced technology to allow more flexible work arrangements and foster greater collaboration across teams, departments and locations.
The Midlands area also will share in $1 million in additional charitable contributions pledged by Unum to support the communities where it has major locations. The expanded community commitment demonstrates the company’s belief in giving back to its communities through donations of time, talent and financial support.
“We expect to provide additional contributions of up to $200,000 in the Midlands community,” Arnold said. “This investment will allow us to have an even greater impact on education and other initiatives important to our people and our communities.”
Colonial Life and its employees contributed $2.4 million to charitable organizations across the region in 2016, part of more than $12.4 million contributed by Unum nationwide.