Sunday 23 September 2018

Sainsbury’s to raise pay to £9.20 an hour

The supermarket giant said the increase will be funded by cost savings within the business.

Sainsburys stock
Sainsburys stock

By Alan Jones, Press Association Industrial Correspondent

Supermarket giant Sainsbury’s is planning to increase its basic rate of pay by £1.20 an hour to £9.20, and £9.80 in London, well above the national living wage.

The company said it will be investing £100 million in its employees this year, adding that the pay rise will be funded by cost savings within the business.

A new contract is being introduced for all 130,000 staff, which the company said will ensure “consistency and fairness” across all its stores, regardless of age or length of service.

The number of roles will be cut from 22 to five – trading assistant, food services assistant, online assistant, general merchandise and clothing assistant, and services assistant.

A bonus usually paid in the spring will end, as will paid breaks.

It is important to invest further in our colleagues so they feel rewarded and motivated to do the best possible job for our customers Simon Roberts, Sainsbury's

Sainsbury’s said a small number of staff may be adversely affected, adding that top-up payments will be made for 18 months to ensure no-one earns less than they do today.

Consultations with staff have started and the new pay rate is planned to start in September.

Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Simon Roberts said: “The retail sector has never been more competitive and we know that our customers really value our colleagues and the excellent service they provide in our shops.

“Which is why we think it is so important to invest further in our colleagues so they feel rewarded and motivated to do the best possible job for our customers every day.

“We expect the best from our teams and that’s why we’re committing to a leading rate of pay. Great pay for great work.

“Together with our recent proposals to change our management structure in stores, we believe the proposed changes will set us up to run the best shops in the industry, delivering the best possible service for our customers.”

The national living wage is £7.50 an hour for over 25-year-olds, while the voluntary “real” figure is £8.75, and £10.20 in London.

Joanne McGuinness, national officer of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw, said: “Usdaw has long been making the case for the real living wage and beyond, so this deal takes Sainsbury’s staff 45p per hour above that £8.75 rate.

The national living wage is £7.50 an hour for over 25-year-olds, while the voluntary “real” figure is £8.75, and £10.20 in London.

“While this is welcome news for Usdaw members working in Sainsbury’s, we will be looking closely at the whole deal, as we understand the company are proposing some contractual changes.

“Consolidating pay can benefit staff, but we want to check the effects on all individual workers.”

Meanwhile, Unite will be recommending rejection of the proposed deal, which it described as “classic robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Acting national officer for food and drink Bev Clarkson welcomed the proposed higher pay rate, but added: “There will be no further increase in salary until 2020 and given what our members have been asked to give up in return for this headline rate, the overall package doesn’t look that attractive.

“Our members will have to make a number of sacrifices to secure this rate of pay, which includes the removal of paid breaks and Sunday premium pay, as well as a number of changes to the attendance policy.

“Unite believes these strings will offset any rise in basic pay.”

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News