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Sainsbury's outlines plans for changes to pay following consultation

Sainsbury’s has confirmed plans to change how its stores are run and how staff are rewarded following a period of consultation.

FOOD & DRINK

Sainsbury's outlines plans for changes to pay following consultation

Sainsbury’s has confirmed plans to change how its stores are run and how staff are rewarded following a period of consultation.

The retailer said the package of changes aims to rectify how some staff members who are working side-by-side in stores and doing exactly the same job, are being paid different amounts depending on when they started working for Sainsbury’s.

One of the main elements of the plan will see Sainsbury’s invest £110 million in increasing the hourly pay rate from £8 to £9.20 per hour. This means that over 121,000 Sainsbury’s staff will receive an average pay rise of 9.3% this year.

The retailer is also introducing several contractual changes from September. These will include streamlining and making roles broader by moving from 22 specific roles to the five roles of trading assistant, food services assistant, online assistant, general merchandise and clothing assistant and services assistant.

There will also be changes to productivity, flexibility and attendance standards and the staff bonus and paid breaks will no longer apply.

The news follows a consultation process with more than 100 staff representatives and their unions that considered the changes to pay and terms and conditions. Following the conclusion of the process, the pay increase and contractual changes will come into effect in September 2018.

Simon Roberts, retail and operations director at Sainsbury’s, said: “I believe this is the right thing to do and am proud to be offering such a significant pay boost to over 120,000 store colleagues across the country. This is in recognition of their hard work and dedication to providing our customers with best in class service every day. This also sets our business up for the future, ensuring we have a better-equipped workforce, fit for the future of retail.

“The changes we are introducing from September will make pay and contracts fair and consistent for all of our colleagues, in every store, regardless of age or length of service.”

A number of improvements to the contractual offer have been agreed with staff as a result of the consultation process. These include location pay being extended to staff working in all outer London boroughs and increasing online driver payments from 50p to 75p an hour.

Sainsbury’s said the changes mean that 93% of store staff will see an increase in pay while a minority will not benefit from the changes being introduced.

Roberts added: “We don’t want anyone to lose out and, for this reason, our plans have always included top-up payments for an 18-month period to ensure that nobody at Sainsbury’s will earn less than they do today. At the end of the 18 months, in March 2020, we will review our hourly rate of pay again.”

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