NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s, citing the new U.S. tax law and the tightening job market, is expanding its 3-year-old education benefits program, tripling the amount of money some workers can get each year to help pay for college or trade school tuition.
The fast-food company is also changing its eligibility rules, which it said will double the amount of workers who qualify to 400,000, or about half the people who work at McDonald’s in the U.S.
Other chains, including Starbucks and Chipotle, have given workers bonuses or boosted benefits because of the Republican tax law, which cut the U.S. corporate tax rate.
McDonald’s also hopes the expanded benefit will help attract and keep workers. Large employers have had a hard time attracting and keeping workers because of historically low unemployment rates.
“There is a fight for talent all around the world,” said McDonald’s Corp. CEO Steve Easterbrook.
McDonald’s said Thursday restaurant crew members will be able to get up to $2,500 per year for tuition, an increase from $700. Managers can receive up to $3,000 per year, an increase from $1,050.
The company said it has set aside $150 million over five years to pay for the program.