Sainsbury’s is increasing basic pay for its shop-floor staff but is cutting paid breaks, premium pay for Sundays and an annual bonus.
The result is about an 8% increase in annual pay for most staff after taking into account the half-hour paid break for every eight-hour shift and a 15-minute break for seven-hour shifts. The longest-serving staff who receive time-and-a-half for working Sundays may see their pay fall.
The increase does not take into account the removal of performance-related bonuses for non-management staff.
Sainsbury‘s said it is spending £100 million to improve pay. The pay-per-hour now stands at £9.20 (£9.80 in London) after three years of 4% growth increases. This basic pay is above the government’s £7.50 for over-25s and £7.05 for 21- to 24-year-olds.
The workers’ union Unite welcomed the basic pay rise to £9.20.
The 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.”
The retail company also said that all 130,000 staff would be put on contracts “ensuring consistency and fairness across all stores, regardless of age or length of service.”
Even so, Sainsbury’s is struggling to compete in the rapidly-changing grocery sector; it was the worst-performing store of the four biggest in the UK for the three months to the 25 February, according to Kantar Worldpanel. Sales at Tesco and Morrisons rose by 2.7%, while Asda had a 2.3% increase. Sainsbury’s only stood at a 1.1% sales rise.