Around 1.2 million employees at Walmart US and at its warehouse chain, Sam’s Club, are to receive a pay increase.
The pay increase will come into effect on 20 February, bringing the average wage for full-time staff to $13.38 an hour and the average part-time hourly wage to $10.58.
All staff employed before 1 January 2016 will receive a minimum of $10 an hour. Employees already earning more than $10 an hour will receive an annual pay increase in February rather than waiting until their anniversary date.
Walmart is also raising the starting rate of its non-entry level hourly pay bands, and employees earning below the new minimum will automatically move up to the new minimum. Workers at or above their pay band maximum will receive a one-time lump sum payment equal to 2% of their annual pay.
The pay rise is being introduced alongside a new short-term disability and simplified paid time off (PTO) programme. This initiative will launch on 5 March 2016 and will mean that full-time employees can carry over up to 80 hours (48 hours for part time workers) of PTO from year to year. Any unused hours at the end of the year above the 80 hour and 48 hour limits will automatically be paid to hourly associates in their first pay packet every February.
Walmart has also implemented a short-term disability basic plan, effective from 1 January 2016, at no cost to full-time hourly employees. The plan offers more income protection to staff that need to be away from work for an extended period of time for medical reasons, such as an illness, injury or pregnancy.
The basic plan will pay 50% of a worker’s average weekly wage, up to $200, for up to 26 weeks. The organisation is also offering a short-term disability enhanced plan, which will entitle employees to receive up to 60% of their average weekly wage with no weekly maximum for up to 26 weeks.
These new initiatives are part of the second phase of the organisation’s two-year $2.7 billion investment in its employees.
Judith McKenna, chief operating officer at Walmart US, said: “We are committed to investing in our staff and to continue to simplify our business. When we do so, there is no limit to what our staff can accomplish.
“Our customers and employees are noticing a difference and we’re seeing strong increases in both customer experience and staff engagement scores.
“By helping our workers grow and succeed, we are helping Walmart do the same.”