Walmart announced plans to increase the starting wage rate for all hourly associates in the U.S. to $11, expand maternity and parental leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000. The company is also creating a new benefit to assist associates with adoption expenses.
The combined wage and benefit changes will benefit the company’s more than one million U.S. hourly associates.
“Today, we are building on investments we’ve been making in associates, in their wages and skills development,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO, in a press release. “It’s our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families.”
McMillon stressed that the tax reform that became law at the end of last year is allowing them to, “invest in our customers and associates and further strengthen our business.”
This increase in wages to associates will take effect in February and will be approximately $300 million incremental to what was already included in next fiscal year’s plan. The one-time bonus represents an additional payment to associates of approximately $400 million in the current fiscal year, which ends Jan. 31, 2018.
Walmart associates in the U.S. will share in tax savings through:
- A one-time bonus benefiting all eligible full and part-time hourly associates in the U.S. The amount of the bonus will be based on length of service, with associates with at least 20 years qualifying for $1,000.
- An increase in Walmart’s starting wage rate to $11 an hour, effective in the Feb. 17, 2018, pay cycle. The increase applies to all hourly associates in the U.S., including Sam’s Clubs, eCommerce, logistics and Home Office stores.
- An expanded parental and maternity leave policy, providing full-time hourly associates in the U.S. with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave. Salaried associates will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.
- Walmart will provide financial assistance to associates adopting a child. The adoption benefit, available to both full-time hourly and salaried associates, will total $5,000 per child and may be used for expenses such as adoption agency fees, translation fees and legal or court costs.
While the new law will create some financial benefit for the company, Walmart is early in the process of assessing potential additional investments.