Bravo to Walmart, which has announced plans to expand its parental leave policies, along with a series of other moves reportedly aimed at distributing the benefits of new tax legislation among its employees.
The nation’s largest private employer, Walmart said it would offer full-time hourly workers 10 weeks of maternity leave at full pay, while fathers, partners and adoptive parents will be eligible to take six weeks. The expanded program now also includes a $5,000 contribution to adoption costs. The new policy represents an increase for more than 500,000 of Walmart hourly employees, reportedly putting them “on the same footing” as salaried employees.
At the same time, Walmart announced it would increase the minimum hourly wage for U.S. employees to $11 and provide bonuses as high as $1,000 to employees who won’t receive a pay raise.
In a letter to Walmart associates, company CEO Doug McMillon described the increased wages and benefits as “investments” in employees that were accelerated by the recently approved lower business tax rate. With McMillon’s blog post, Walmart joined a growing list of large employers who have announced worker bonuses in the wake of the Republican tax plan’s passage.
Politics aside, we were happy to see the news of Walmart’s move toward a more generous and equitable parental leave policy and hope more employers will prioritize this critical benefit for their employees. Given the uneven, employer-dependent paid leave landscape here in the United States, this type of meaningful reinvestment in the families that help companies thrive is a move we can get behind.
Learn more about Care@Work’s suite of family care benefits.