Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Walmart to raise starting hourly wage to $11, offer paid parental leave

Walmart giving employees $1000 bonuses, raising minimum wage Wal-Mart increases minimum wage to $11 an hour in wake of lower US tax bill
Orlando Vargas | 11 January, 2018, 22:13

The company is offering a one-time bonus to full and part-time employees based on their length of service, rising to $1,000 for employees with 20 years of service. "It's our people who make the difference and we appreciate how they work hard to make every day easier for busy families".

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the United States".

Prior to Walmart's announcement, the total amount of bonuses pledged amounted to 0.09 percent of the value of the tax cuts to corporate America over 10 years. Salaried employees will also receive six weeks of paid parental leave.

Its rival Target had raised its minimum hourly wage to $11 in October, and said it would raise wages to $15 by the end of 2020. The wage increases are expected to cost the retail giant $300 million in what they are already planning for the upcoming fiscal year.

The retailer said on Thursday changes that to its compensation and benefits policy will impact more than a million hourly workers in the U.S., with the wage increase effective next month.

"Wal-Mart would have had to go to at least $11 in many markets in order to retain reliable employees", said University of MI business professor Erik Gordon. The retailer has spent about $2.7 billion to increase wages over the past few years. Last quarter, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company posted its strongest USA sales gain in more than eight years.

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Parental leave has been another area in which retailers including Target and Ikea have been trying to offer better benefits.

Twelve states already have minimum wages of at least $10, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The idea is to reward employees who won't benefit from the new starting wage.

Walmart also said it would offer financial help to full-time hourly and salaried employees who are seeking to adopt children.

The expanded parental and maternity leave policy will provide full-time hourly associates with 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave.

Walmart said on Thursday it would raise entry-level wages for hourly employees to $11 an hour as it benefits from the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years. Walmart's online business is surging. That helped spur the long stretch of steady comparable sales growth it has enjoyed recently: When it invested in better pay and more training for workers, that translated into better-stocked shelves and friendlier customer service.

Lately, much of the talk about Walmart's showdown with Amazon.com has centered on the old-school retailer building stronger e-commerce muscles.

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