(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. plans to significantly increase its benefits for U.S. retail store workers as it grapples with a tightening labor market and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, according to people with knowledge of the matter. 

The company, which operates around 270 stores in the U.S., is making changes for both full-time and part-time employees, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced publicly.

The iPhone maker plans to adopt the following changes for U.S. workers beginning on April 4:

  • Doubling paid sick days for both full-time and part-time workers. The days can be used for mental health leave and taking family members to the doctor. This change will give full-time workers 12 paid sick days, instead of six.
  • Workers will receive more annual vacation days, beginning at three years of employment instead of five.
  • Part-time employees will now get as many as six paid vacation days for the first time. Another first: They’ll get paid parental leave. That benefit will cover up to six weeks and will include the ability to gradually ramp up work time for the first four weeks back.
  • Part-time workers also will get access to discounted emergency backup care for children or elderly family members.

An Apple spokesman confirmed the changes, saying they were in development for several months.

The Cupertino, California-based company is finding it increasingly difficult to hire and retain employees, especially in certain parts of the country. Apple retail workers also have complained about working conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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