Asda is the latest retailer to offer flexible contracts to current staff, with 135,000 store employees poised to receive a pay rise to £8.50 an hour.
The Big 4 grocer is allowing workers to choose whether or not to accept the new contract or remain with their current one.
Asda believes 95 per cent of its store staff will be better off with the new contracts, which come into effect on October 8.
It said the new terms allow “greater levels of flexibility”, with staff now having the choice to work in various areas of the store, rather than only being contracted to work on the checkouts or in a specific department.
“This contract allows us to have much more fluidity around providing that service,” Asda senior vice president of people Hayley Tatum told Retail Week.
“If we are busy somewhere and have queues in the cafÃ©, for instance, it means colleagues can jump off and help during that busy spell and then go back to what they were doing before.”
Tatum added the grocer would invest in additional training to ensure staff were skilled across different areas of the shop floor. However, she did not disclose how much would be spent.
The new flexible contract also now offers £8.50 per hour pay rate – £1 per hour more than the government‘s National Living Wage of £7.50.
To help fund it, Asda staff will be required to work on bank holidays or take them as annual leave.
The flexible contract also means unpaid breaks, and the premium paid for night shifts will only apply between midnight and 5am, rather than the current 10pm and 6am. Despite the shorter window, the premium will edge up from £2.04 per hour to £2.54 per hour.
All other staff benefits, including staff discount, pension, bonuses and its sharesave scheme, will remain the same under the new flexible contract.