The Walt Disney Company will give more than 125,000 employees one-time $1,000 cash bonuses, amounting to a $125 million allocation by the entertainment giant.
Chairman and CEO Bob Iger made the announcement on Tuesday. He also said Disney will make an initial investment of $50 million in a new and ongoing education program specifically designed to cover tuition costs for hourly employees and will allocate $25 million annually to the program after this year.
“I am proud we are directing approximately $125 million to our cast members and employees across the country and making higher education more accessible with the launch of this new program,” Iger said. “I have always believed that education is the key to opportunity; it opens doors and creates new possibilities. Matched with the $1,000 cash bonus, these initiatives will have both an immediate and long-term positive impact.”
All full and part-time non-executive employees, either hourly or salaried, who have been with Disney since Jan. 1 and are based in the United States, will be paid a one-time $1,000 cash bonus. Employees will receive the bonus in two payments.
Disney also said it will work with union representatives regarding potential distribution plans for employees currently working under existing union contracts.
Disney said nearly 88,000 hourly employees will be eligible for the education bonuses.
“With this new plan, participants can pursue qualifying higher education or vocational training, including courses unrelated to their current responsibilities at Disney,” the company said. “By creating new opportunities for those who wish to continue their education, employees can advance in their current roles or support their long-term career aspirations.”
Disney said its current educational reimbursement program, which is open to all full-time employees, will continue and remain unchanged.