// Asda seeks 5000 new staff to help cope with demand as a result of the coronavirus crisis
// Lidl seeks 2500 new shop floor staff, and like other grocers they are targetting people whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic
// Follows similar moves from the likes of Morrisons, the Co-op, Tesco, Iceland and Waitrose
Lidl and Asda have become the latest grocers to announce major recruitment drives to help cope with the surge in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Asda said it was working to hire more than 5000 people whose jobs are or were impacted due to the outbreak of Covid-19, while Lidl said it wanted to hire 2500 people to start working with them immediately.
Asda said it was working with more than 20 companies across the UK in industries like hospitality and travel to bring in colleagues in need of work.
Staff from these companies would be offered shifts or temporary secondments to Asda roles – ensuring individuals remain in work and companies do not have the additional pressure of staff costs during pandemic.
- Coronavirus: Co-op fast tracks 5000-strong recruitment drive
- Coronavirus: Government will waive competition laws to keep nation fed
- M&S extends rationing in stores amid coronavirus outbreak
Asda’s current employees are also being urged to reach out on social media to invite friends and family whose work has been impacted by coronavirus to contact their local store about job opportunities.
In a bid to support local food services, the Big 4 grocer said it was also offering local cafes and restaurants the opportunity to take on additional catering services and help feed Asda staff who are working around the clock to keep shelves stocked.
Meanwhile, Lidl bosses said the new positions they’re advertising will be four-week contracts, with the idea of helping to restock shelves and assist current staff.
They added anyone who has lost their job as a result of businesses shutting down over Covid-19 should apply, and will pay £9.30 an hour for staff outside London, or £10.75 in the capital.
Asda and Lidl’s announcements follows similar moves from the Co-op and Morrisons, which are vastly expanding their workforce to cope with the extra demand of families in self-isolation.
Tesco and Iceland are also creating temporary jobs to help cope with the sudden demand, while Waitrose has reportedly asked workers in 40 stores to recommend friends and family who could help out on the shop floor for about a month.
Lidl, which has 800 stores across the country, said: “The new hires will be responsible for working together to keep the store clean, tidy and the shelves well stocked so that customers can get the products they need. Shifts could include mornings, evenings and weekends.”
Lidl GB chief executive Christian Hartnagel said: “Our store colleagues are doing an incredible job at keeping our shelves stocked, and serving communities during an extremely challenging period.
“Temporarily expanding our teams is one way we can help support our colleagues and customers, whilst providing work to those that have had their employment affected by the current situation.”
Office-based colleagues will also be working from home, and the company will introduce “flexible options including sick pay, holiday pay, advanced holiday pay and mobile working where applicable”.
Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said: “During these difficult times everyone has to work together to help people most affected by Covid-19 and Asda is pleased to play its part.
“That is why today we have committed to hiring more than 5,000 employees who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19 and have been left with deep concerns about their household budgets.”
“Never in my 30 years in retail have I ever felt so keenly the role played by supermarkets in our communities.
“The way our colleagues are working to support the nation is incredible and I want to support them – and those closest to them who are experiencing the other end of this crisis and need work.
“Where we can provide opportunities for employment, even short term, to help people through this period, we want to play our part.
“And where we are able to reduce the strain on our smaller suppliers and tenants – we will do so.”
Morrisons was the first major UK grocer to kick start a recruitment drive earlier this week, stating it would do “its bit during the emergency” by expanding home delivery to more households and create an extra 3500 jobs – which comprises 2500 additional pickers and drivers and 1000 additional jobs at distribution centres.
Meanwhile, non-food and office staff from John Lewis have been encouraged to help their colleagues at stablemate Waitrose, as have M&S clothing and home staff for their M&S food colleagues.