Target boosts paid family leave, child care benefits in tough labor market

Target on Monday said it would expand paid family leave and childcare benefits for hundreds of thousands of employees as it looks to compete with other retailers in a tight labor market.

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Employees will gain access to 20 days of backup child and elder care options in an expanded program that begins this fall, the company said in a press release. Starting in June, workers will also receive four weeks of paid family leave to care for a new born or sick relative. Target also increased its reimbursement benefit for adoption and surrogacy fees.

“Retail workforces are unique in their mix of hourly and salaried positions, and one of our philosophies is to offer the same family-focused benefits to both hourly and salaried team members,” Target Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Kremer said in a statement.

The company said the new benefits apply to part-time and full-time employees, including both hourly and salaried workers, at Target stores, distribution centers and its U.S. headquarters.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
TGTTARGET CORP.160.23+0.63+0.39%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,204.40+28.00+0.88%
WMTWALMART INC.143.85+0.30+0.21%

With the U.S. unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent as of May, top retailers have sought to attract new workers by boosting pay and other benefits. Target offers starting base pay of $13 per hour and plans to increase to $15 per hour by the end of 2020.

Amazon raised its minimum starting wage to $15 late last year after facing criticism from Sen. Bernie Sanders and other politicians. At the same time, the company slashed its performance bonus and stock grant programs.

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Walmart offers starting pay of $11 per hour, but has sought to lure employees through a variety of education-based incentives. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon recently called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour.