MP: 10% of staff to lose out in Sainsbury’s proposed pay changes


The controversy surrounding Sainsbury’s proposed changes to staff pay has continued to develop as Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh calls them “deplorable”.

According to McDonagh, around 10 per cent of Sainsbury’s staff will lose out under the new proposals, many of them its “most dedicated, loyal and long-term staff”.

Sainsbury’s announced last week that it planned to raise basic pay for its 130,000 staff from £8 to £9.20, becoming the highest paying major grocer in the UK.

However, the company also announced plans to cut paid breaks, stop premium pay for Sundays and the shortening of night shift premium hours to 12am-5am.

These measures will reportedly mean 13,000 staff members would be worse off under the proposals.

Since publishing the story last week, the Retail Gazette has received comments from many Sainsbury’s staff members who are concerned about the proposed changes, alongside many who welcomed it.

One anonymous source stated that staff had been “asked 18 months ago to choose the benefits that meant the most to them as some would have to go”.

“They’ve also been very clear about what benefits will be going when announcing this to colleagues,” they said.

Others refuted this.

“No one was asked knowing the full implications of such choices,” one person wrote.

Another added: “I have worked for them for 20 years. The scenario you have described did not/has not happened.”

Many welcomed the changes.

“I think the proposal is more than fair. Why should some staff receive premiums in their pay just because they have been at the company longer? The company is investing in its people and the vast majority of staff will benefit from the new rate per hour,” one person wrote.

Another compared standard pay to Sainsbury’s bigger rival: “Fair play Sainsbury’s for looking after the workforce, Tesco have won the race for paying nowhere near the living wage.”

However, the majority of those who commented on Retail Gazette’s story last week compounded McDonagh’s accusations that many would lose out.

“As a night shift worker I currently earn £10.06 an hour but the reduction in night shift premium is borderline ridiculous,” one staff member wrote.

Meanwhile, another night shift worker said they would be “£900 worse off a year thanks to the changes”.

In response, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “We were pleased to meet Siobhain in parliament yesterday to discuss our colleague pay proposals and explain that this is a pay increase for over 90 per cent of our colleagues – over 120,000 individuals – making Sainsbury’s the top paying retailer in the industry.

“We have committed to investing over £100 million to take our base rate of pay to £9.20 an hour from September.

“Our colleagues will receive, on average, an eight per cent pay increase this year, in addition to a four per cent pay rise for the past three years, giving a 30 per cent pay increase over four years.

“We have a number of legacy contracts which mean that colleagues are being paid differently depending on the length of time they have worked with us which clearly isn’t fair. These proposals aim to make everything fair and consistent for all.

“We appreciate that a number of colleagues will be adversely affected and we have thought very carefully about how we support these colleagues.

“This is why we have proposed top-up payments for an 18 month period, starting from September, through to March 2020, which is the date of our next pay review.”

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  1. Mike Coupe, inventor of the PHANTOM PAYRISE. The act of giving a payrise with one hand whilst simulataneously snatching it back with the other with the process of stopping premiums and forcing new contracts on staff with the threat of losing their jobs if they don’t comply, like the subjugated plebs they are. Hes the new Philip Green.

  2. I am one of those 90% receiving a ‘pay increase’. My location pay has been removed (I live in high rent cost Surrey), my skills payment has been cut and my breaks totalling one hour in my 32 hour week are now unpaid. My gross pay is rising by 54 pence per week, frozen until April 2020. My bonus which has been 3% of annual pay is being removed.

  3. I wonder if mike coupe is taking a pay cut not rise .they get rid of managers and team leaders make staff 89 of our 400 team worse off by losing paid breaks om a 39 hour week 2.5 hrs per week 10 hrs a pay day 90.00 Sunday premium x4 another 85.00 per pay day no bank holiday premium so approx 175.00 a pay day and no annual bonus and the pay rise remains the same for 3 years until we get another rise.this all happened as they spent 60 million buying out nectar . And they wonder why staff are demoralised and feel Un rewarded and non appreciative. They stretch us to the limit for what . So come on mike coupe after 18 months how can you compensate us losing out . After giving 15 years service this is how you treat us . Please look into the package and see how you can put the family spirit back as everyone’s moral has hit rock bottom .

  4. How does a 8% pay rise this year and 3x 4% rises for previous 3 years equal 30% over 4 years? Frightening if these are the people running the company and they csnt even add up!!

  5. A member of staff in my store is going to lose 2,000 a year I work 30 hours a week now it’s going to be 28 hours so I will not get working tax credit so I will be down £214.00 per month. So where is this far to the hard working staff.

  6. I have worked at Sainsburys 26 years on nightshift and work Sundays so l am seriously affected by the changes Sainsburys are forcing through-and my role is changing to be more adaptable to work on other departments if required.
    And management roles are changing,but if they don’t like what’s being offered they can take redundancy, as l said my role is changing but not being offered redundancy!-CLEAR DISCRIMINATION! SHAME ON YOU SAINSBURYS.

  7. Morale at my store is rock bottom. They are cutting everywhere, this latest publicised ‘pay rise’ is just one people hear about. Staff are not being replaced and those that are left are stretched to the very limit. Customers do not come first, profit comes first, second and third…staff are at the bottom of the pile.

  8. In the management restructure, (removal of store supervisor and department manager, replaced with a new position), by all accounts, (I’ve obtained), 60% of these people are choosing to take redundancy rather than stay with a company that has shafted them left right and sideways over the last few years.
    The company has made a serious miscalculation in these plans and is now going to pay the price when they loose decades worth of knowledge and experience.
    The situation has got so bad for Sainsbury’s that it has had to open up the new management position to there band 2 colleagues (Band 2 Is the base level staff in sainsburys). This puts us in the joke of a position where there will be people with absolutely no experience/knowledge in charge(and responsible for) the entire building, members of staff and customers.
    I’ve been with the company for over 15 years and I have never seen things as bad.

    As regard the colleague pay rise, the plans result in a 5.4% pay cut for me. That figure does not include the loss of annual bonus, up to 3% of base annual salary.
    Also it does not take account of the changes to terms and conditions they are sneaking through by blinding everyone with the ‘pay rise. Some of these changes are a fudging joke: change to disciplinary process to make it easier to sack people by removing one of the steps there presently are. Change to grievance process, effectively removing the ability of a college to appeal against the company’s decision.
    Sainsbury’s should really change it’s motto to;” it’s not what you know that matters, it’s who you know”
    Peace out.


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