Consumer food giant General Mills (GIS 0.58%) announced today that it plans to pay a daily bonus to manufacturing plant employees working on-site. This bonus will continue to be paid for a minimum of four weeks, and might be extended longer if General Mills decides the situation warrants it. The company plans to give manufacturing workers several other benefits, and is allowing some corporate employees to switch over temporarily to manufacturing on a voluntary basis.

Because of increased food demand as people tried to stock up for the coronavirus pandemic, General Mills' sales spiked by double-digit amounts in early March. With manufacturing plant employees at the leading edge of meeting that demand, the company is providing incentives to stay on the job during a time when putting in a work day at a factory raises risk of COVID-19 contact.

Baked goods on an industrial conveyor belt.

Image source: Getty Images.

Besides the daily bonus, General Mills is offering these workers two weeks of paid leave if they fall ill with coronavirus, get quarantined, or otherwise experience disruptions to their life because of the virus. Flexible work hours and child care consultation are available to employees with children at some locations.

General Mills is also giving its office workers the chance to contribute to food production and earn the manufacturing employee bonuses. Corporate employees who are in good health can opt to temporarily move over to manufacturing.

Commenting on the plan, CEO Jeff Harmening declared, "We see it as imperative that we help ensure a steady and reliable food supply for people and pets." Many food companies have taken steps to boost consumer food production as COVID-19 prompted people to empty supermarket shelves during the outbreak's first weeks.