Wal-Mart is set to increase the wages of 1.2 million of its employees next month, according to a statement.
The pay raises, which will affect 1.2 million of its estimated 1.4 million Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates, will take effect Feb. 20 and will be among the “largest single-day, private-sector pay increases ever,” according to the company.
Wal-Mart said all associates hired before Jan. 1, 2016 will earn at least $10 an hour, while newly hired entry-level employees will continue to start off at $9 an hour. Part-time hourly wage employees will earn $10.58 an hour on average, while those who work full-time will earn an average $13.38 an hour.
The pay raise is part of the second phase of a two-year, $2.7 billion investment in workers, according to the company.
“Our customers and associates are noticing a difference,” said Judith McKenna, chief operating officer for Walmart U.S. “We’re seeing strong increases in both customer experience and associate engagement scores.”
The statement comes just days after Wal-Mart announced it would close 269 stores worldwide, including 154 in the U.S., according to Reuters.
Wal-Mart is also revamping its paid time off policy, which will take effect in March, allowing full- and part-time employees to carry over 80 and 48 hours of paid time off from year to year respectively.
The company is also providing a free basic short-term disability plan to full-time associates who need to take time off for medical reasons, such as having a baby. Under the plan, Wal-Mart will pay for 50 percent of a worker’s average weekly wage up to $200 for up to 26 weeks. The company is also offering an enhanced plan, which it says costs less than the prior voluntary plan while providing more coverage.