Sainsbury’s makes changes on employee pay overhaul

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Sainsbury’s has made a few changes on the controversial plans to overhaul staff pay after a consultation process with employees as well as backlash from the wider public.

In March, the grocer announced plans to raise the basic pay of store employees from £8 to £9.20 per hour amid a £100 million investment scheme.

Despite this making Sainsbury’s the highest-paying grocer for floor staff per hour, it said it would also cut paid breaks, stop premium pay for Sundays and shorten night shift premium hours to 12am-5am.

Backlash on the proposals were also based on allegations that 10 per cent of Sainsbury’s 130,000 staff were to be made worse off, many of whom were some of the grocer’s longest standing employees.

According to the Evening Standard, Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe has now made “significant” changes to the proposals.

Amid the new changes, employees working in London outside zones one and two will now receive 25p an hour more, as will delivery drivers.

Most significantly, night shift workers will see their hourly rates rise from £1.55 an hour to £2.45 and hour, but the way they are paid for night shifts will still change.

“We have proposed top-up payments for an 18 month period to make sure that no colleague earns less than they do today,” Coupe said.

“And at the end of those 18 months – in March 2020, we will review the hourly rate again.”

The grocer added that its plans to scrap paid breaks was industry standard and that a vast majority of its staff would still be better off under the proposals.

In a letter seen by the Standard to Siobhain McDonagh MP, one of the key critics of the proposed changes, Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Simon Roberts said: “Despite the £100 million investment, the number of legacy contracts we have in our system means that this is still not enough to ensure that every colleague is better off because of the existing variability in our contracts.

“We fully understand that some colleagues will be impacted by the proposals.”

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