Thanks to their aisles upon aisles of necessities (and a plethora of items that aren’t exactly essential but you just can’t resist), Target is a beloved one-stop shop for families all over the country. Now, they’re giving parents even more reason to patronize and work for the company. In a letter posted to the company’s blog on Monday, June 10, Target announced that given the “growing caregiving responsibilities” of their 350,000 employees, including caring for “infants, children, spouses, domestic partners and aging parents,” the retailer is “enhancing several of the benefits” that they currently offer their hourly workforce (including part-time team members) and salaried members who work in Target stores, distribution centers and U.S. headquarters. The goal: for team members to “support their families for years to come.”
Specifically, they’re doubling the amount of time offered for paid family leave. Currently, Target employees get two weeks of paid parental leave, but beginning June 30, employees will be given up to four weeks paid time off annually to care for a newborn or a sick family member. New moms will get an additional six to eight weeks of paid maternity leave, as well.
Additionally, they’ll offer team members at all their stores and distribution centers affordable backup care solutions, which were initially introduced at Target’s HQ. The program includes 20 days total of in-center childcare or in-home child- and eldercare.
The company also noted that they recently doubled the amount they’ll reimburse team members’ adoption or surrogacy fees. The reimbursement benefit has been available to Target employees for over 10 years.
Target’s news comes on the heels of Walmart’s announcement about new benefits for employees who are high school students. They’re covering SAT prep fees and initial college-credit courses, and will subsidize the cost of students' tuition, books and fees at six nonprofit colleges, including the University of Florida. Back in January, Walmart similarly expanded their parental leave policy, offering salaried and full-time hourly employees six weeks’ paid parental leave and an additional 10 weeks of paid maternity leave for new moms. But their benefits do not extend to part-timers the way Target’s do.
The two big-box retailers are also duking it out over their starting hourly wages. Target has raised theirs to $13 an hour, pledging to take it up to $15 by the end of 2020. Walmart raised theirs to $11 an hour last year, though CEO Doug McMillion recently noted that they’ll raise their minimum wage “floor” in the future, according to CNN.
No doubt these retail giants are on a roll when it comes to attempting to one-up one another’s benefits. How refreshing to see corporate competition that is ultimately such a win for working families.