Walmart Canada is enhancing its employee benefits plan with coverage for fertility treatments and gender affirmation.
Nadia Cerisano, vice-president of total rewards and global mobility at Walmart, says the new benefits, which take effect Feb. 1, will help employees be their authentic selves in the workplace. Last fall, Walmart extended fertility benefits to its U.S. employees.
“We have many different employees and everyone has a different health journey and needs,” she says. “When we looked at [modernizing] our coverage, we looked at the personas of our associates and we wanted to ensure we provided them with the right coverage.”
The company is also expanding its mental-health coverage, from $1,500 to $3,000 per year for all associates and their eligible dependants, on Feb. 1. It’s also enhancing coverage for paramedical services, preventative dental care, vision care, orthotics and orthopaedic shoes.
In addition, Walmart Canada is lowering the benefits plan’s annual deductible and offering negotiated reduced rates for several benefits, including long-term disability rates. These changes will support employees’ financial wellness while reducing future benefits costs through prevention, says Jamilah Zuzarte, director of benefits and well-being.
“We want to make sure everyone has access and improved access means someone won’t have to pay out of pocket in terms of the deductible. Higher maximums for benefits like vision and orthotics are a big deal, especially for associates who are on their feet working in distribution centres. And for huge expenses like fertility treatments, we want to make sure those buckets are there as well.”