This year’s Design Atelier is full of gems.
Signet Raises Minimum Wage to $15 Per Hour for US Employees
The company expects the wage increase to go into effect by spring 2022.
Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers announced Thursday that it will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for all of its U.S. employees.
The jewelry giant operates 2,900 stores under the Zales, Jared, Kay Jewelers, James Allen and Piercing Pagoda banners, employing about 22,000 people.
The change is expected to be fully rolled out by spring 2022 and will apply to all full-time and part-time positions.
The wage raise follows the launch of Signet’s Love Takes Care Appreciation Award, a bonus paid to full-time and part-time hourly employees in appreciation for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It also comes a amid a push by Democrats in Congress to gradually raise the federal minimum wage, which has been at $7.50/hour since 2019, to $15/hour, a battle that was dealt a blow Thursday when a top Senate official ruled the wage-raising measure could not be included in a COVID-19 relief package.
“As a purpose-driven company that puts our people first, we believe that raising our minimum wage is the right thing to do,” said Signet CEO Gina Drosos in a press release.
“Our team showed incredible agility, creativity and compassion this past year – learning new capabilities that accelerated our transformation, exceeded customers’ expectations and delivered the best holiday season we’ve had in nine years.”
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Signet said it has been making investments in its people over the last 12 months, including creating jobs and taking steps to improve the overall employee experience.
The retailer has created hundreds of new positions since last spring, including seasonal in-store concierges and 700 virtual jewelry consultants.
Piercing Pagoda is also looking for 200 facial piercing artists as it expands its offerings.
The company has noted an uptick in the number of customers interested in nose piercings, a Signet spokesperson told National Jeweler.
To further improve the employee experience, the company said it is offering additional paid time off for parental care and initiatives surrounding community service, voting, and vaccinations.
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Executives, including Drosos, have also led employee discussions about social justice and racism and have been working toward prioritizing inclusion.
In addition to its Love Takes Care store safety program, a set of health and safety protocols to fight back combat COVID-19, Signet has set up a relief fund for employees facing financial challenges due to the pandemic.
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