Tesco offers £1000 bonus to new HGV drivers amid shortage crisis

Tesco workers to launch pre-Christmas strike at NI distribution centres
A continuous, “all-out” strike at Antrim and Belfast are scheduled to begin on December 16.
// Tesco offers £1000 joining bonus to lorry drivers who join the Big 4 grocer before the end of September
// It comes as grocers experience staff shortages amid the “pingdemic” and changes to immigration rules from Brexit
// Road Haulage Association believes there is a shortfall of about 60,000 haulage drivers in the UK

Tesco is offering a £1000 joining bonus to lorry drivers who join the Big 4 grocer before the end of September amid staffing pressures on the UK’s supermarkets.

The payment, which applies to new starters who join from July 14 until September 30, appears on various advertisements for HGV driver roles on the retail giant’s website.

Potential candidates are told that the role offers the opportunity to be “an ambassador on our roads” where “you’ll play a vital role for our customers and communities, representing Tesco on the highways and byways of the UK”.


The time-limited offer comes after supermarkets had to reassure customers last week that there was no need to panic buy following pictures of half-empty shelves and reports of temporary shortages.

A “perfect storm” of aggravating factors was blamed for the situation, including self-isolating workers and prior staff shortages brought about by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last week the BRC warned that staff shortages, caused by large numbers of workers self-isolating after being pinged by the NHS Covid-19 app, was “putting increasing pressure on retailers’ ability to maintain opening hours and keep shelves stocked”.

The impact of the so-called “pingdemic” was also being seen in factories, bakeries and meat processing plants.

The UK Government has since introduced emergency measures which it says will protect food supplies, allowing thousands of workers to avoid the need to self-isolate if identified as a contact of a Covid case.

Critical workplaces in the food supply chain are being prioritised for targeted daily testing, which will allow eligible workers identified as Covid contacts to continue working if they test negative.

Meanwhile, the Road Haulage Association previously said it believes there is a shortfall of about 60,000 haulage drivers in the UK after around 30,000 HGV driving tests did not take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Hauliers blamed the shortage on a large proportion of drivers being foreign nationals from European countries who had returned to the EU amid Brexit changes, combined with truck drivers not being included on the government’s list of skilled labour, leaving new arrivals needing immigration paperwork.

Tesco previously assured shoppers it had plenty of food and all grocers urged customers to shop as normal.

with PA Wires

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  1. It doesn’t seem to have occurred to them just paying people better will help. A lot of drivers have left to go and work doing last mile deliveries for companies as it pays better and you have some form of life not just working all the time.

  2. Long hours and no life – the industry is stuck in a victorian era mindset in which 12 working days seemed normal. Pay a decent hourly rate and offer 8-9 hr working day and people will come. The average full-time worker in the UK works 36 hrs pw, the average HGV driver almost twice as much. Add nights, weekends, etc on top of this – can anyone be surprised that people leave?

  3. Couldn’t agree more with previous comments. I myself am an hgv driver, I’m on a daily rate of £90 and work 5 days a week. Although I don’t have to do nights out. I still do almost 10 – 12 hours a day, and hardly see my wife and 6 Yr old son. More pay isn’t the answer. Better conditions and fewer hours a week is the key I think. Also we truck drivers don’t get the respect we so rightly deserve.


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