Walmart is giving its workers a pay raise and a cash bonus of up to $1,000

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  • Walmart says it is raising hourly pay to $US11 from $US9 as a result of the new US tax law.
  • It says it’s also offering employees a one-time cash bonus of up to $US1,000, expanded maternity and parental-leave benefits, and assistance with adoption expenses.
  • The company says the changes will affect more than 1 million of its US employees.

Walmart is raising starting wages for hourly employees to $US11 and offering a one-time cash bonus of up to $US1,000, the company said Thursday.

The retailer also said it was expanding maternity and parental-leave benefits, as well as creating a new benefit to assist with adoption expenses.

Walmart’s starting pay is now $US9 for all hourly employees, or $US10 for those who completed a training program.

The changes will take effect in February and affect more than 1 million US Walmart employees, the company said.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the changes were a direct result of the new tax law.

“We are early in the stages of assessing the opportunities tax reform creates for us to invest in our customers and associates and to further strengthen our business, all of which should benefit our shareholders,” McMillon said in a statement. “However, some guiding themes are clear and consistent with how we’ve been investing – lower prices for customers, better wages and training for associates and investments in the future of our company, including in technology.”

“Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the US,” he added.

The cash bonus will go to employees who don’t benefit from the new wage increases – meaning they are already paid more than $US11 an hour. It will range from $US200 to $US1,000 depending on workers’ length of employment with Walmart.

The new benefits include 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and six weeks of paid parental leave for full-time hourly associates. That benefit will also go to parents who adopt.

Additionally, Walmart says it will contribute $US5,000 toward the cost of adoption for its workers.