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BNY Mellon to boost minimum hourly wage to $22.50 in March

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Dive Brief:

  • BNY Mellon is increasing its minimum hourly wage for U.S.-based employees to $22.50, from $20, effective March 1, the bank said Friday.
  • The bank is also expanding the cadre of mental health resources it offers employees. BNY Mellon’s Wellbeing Support Program, set to launch next year, will allow for up to 12 no-cost therapy sessions annually, up from five, the bank said Friday.
  • BNY Mellon is also expanding its BK Shares program to offer company stock to eligible new employees who joined the firm by November, the bank said.

Dive Insight:

The minimum wage increase, accounting for a 12.5% pay bump for the bank’s lowest earners, is BNY Mellon’s third in the past three years, the bank said.

It’s not alone in that cadence. Bank of America, which committed itself in 2021 to raising its own minimum hourly wage to $25 by 2025, announced in September it would bump its floor to $23 per hour — a year after boosting it to $22.

“We want our employees to feel valued and know that they are being compensated competitively,” Sharyn Jones, BNY Mellon’s global head of talent, said Friday in a press release. “It’s important that we continue to invest in our culture in order to attract and retain top talent.”

BNY Mellon and Bank of America also share another strategy — namely, a penchant for offering rank-and-file employees company stock. BNY Mellon awarded 10 shares to each eligible employee in February. The move gave roughly $460 to about 90% of the bank’s staff. Presumably, the BK Shares changes could expand on that.

Bank of America, by comparison, gave roughly 96% of its workers restricted-stock awards in January. The bank did not detail this year the value of those packages, but in 2022, the offer ranged from 65 to 600 restricted stock units per employee, based on compensation.

“Our larger competitive employee reward portfolio is always expanding,” Amit Chowdhary, chief operating officer and senior people business partner in BNY Mellon’s people team, said in Friday’s release. “We want to ensure that current and future employees know we are dedicated to investing in their success.”

BNY Mellon is offering more personalized access to mental health support for employees and their families, including spouses, domestic partners and children, regardless of enrollment in the bank’s medical plan, the New York City-based lender said.

The bank is also touting a health plan option with no premiums for U.S. employees earning less than $75,000 per year. BNY Mellon is also offering 16 weeks of paid parental leave, the bank said. The bank last year expanded its parental leave to 16 weeks for all new parents, up from 12 weeks for the primary caregiver.

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