Chipotle spices up benefits package following tax reform

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Chipotle Mexican Grill is the latest company to reinvest its tax savings back into its workers.

The Denver-based fast food chain says it will reinvest more than 33% of its anticipated savings from tax law changes, which slashed the corporate rate by 14%, into its employee benefits, with the remainder being dedicated to improved restaurant facilities and operations.

More than 71,000 employees will now be eligible for accelerated training programs, cash and stock bonuses, paid parental leave, life insurance and short-term disability, according to Chipotle.

“More than anything, these benefit changes are aimed at helping us recruit and retain the best employees we can,” says Mike Ferguson, director of people support at Chipotle. “We have always been an industry leader with the benefits we provide — including things like tuition reimbursement and our partnership with Guild Education, for example. We believe investing some of the money we will save through changes to the tax laws in our people is the right thing to do.”

Chipotle employees will be able to access more training programs beyond the company’s education component, which includes $5,250 in tuition reimbursement and reduced-cost courses and degree programs at a number of colleges and universities through Guild Education.

See also: Chipotle enhances education benefits

Ferguson says the accelerated training program will be conducted internally in both the restaurant space and a classroom at the company’s Denver headquarters.

“The aim of this program is to better equip our restaurant and staff teams for success in all they have to do,” he says.

The one-time $1,000 cash bonus and stock grant, which Chipotle says are retention incentives, will be awarded to employees working at the company as of Feb. 16 and continuously employed with the company through Dec. 31.

The company has previously offered some form of stock compensation to eligible corporate employees, such as professional and support staff and restaurant managers, Ferguson says.

Chipotle will also offer employer-sponsored life insurance and short-term disability, the latter of which can be applied for maternity leave.

The company has also revamped its parental leave coverage to include all employees.

“Before these changes, we offered parental leave for salaried managers and salaried professional support staff,” Ferguson says. “Through these enhancements to our benefits, we have added parental leave benefits for hourly restaurant managers and added additional time for salaried managers and professional support staff. This benefit was enhanced for employees who were eligible before, and expanded to include groups of employees who were not previously eligible.”

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