// John Lewis Partnership will raise its lorry driver salaries by up to £5000, starting on Sunday
// LGV drivers employed by John Lewis &Waitrose will receive a pay rise of around £2 an hour in their base pay
// New drivers joining before November will also be offered a “welcome payment” of £1000, in addition to the pay rise
The John Lewis Partnership has said it will raise its lorry driver salaries by up to £5000 as the industry continues to face damaging worker shortages.
The group – which runs the John Lewis department store arm and Waitrose supermarket chain – said it would start the increase in annual salaries on Sunday.
Large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers employed by John Lewis and Waitrose will receive a pay rise of around £2 an hour in their base pay across all its regional and national distribution sites.
- M&S offers new lorry drivers £2000 sign-on bonus
- Aldi joins Tesco in increasing driver pay to address shortage crisis
- Tesco offers £1000 bonus to new HGV drivers amid shortage crisis
The salary increase is designed to ensure the retail giant can continue to recruit drivers at “market competitive rates”.
The John Lewis Partnership employs around 900 drivers who will benefit from the pay increase.
“There’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel for Waitrose and John Lewis,” supply chain director Mark Robinson said.
“We’re responding quickly to the national driver shortage by ensuring our drivers are paid competitively and by investing in training for the future.
“These changes will mean that we can continue to serve our customers well and get them the products they need.”
New drivers with C+E licences joining before November will also be offered a “welcome payment” of £1000, in addition to the pay rise.
It comes after rivals including Tesco and Marks & Spencer announced similar perks, such as £1000 and £2000 starting bonuses respectively, to secure new drivers.
This has resulted in fierce battle for available drivers while some have also been poached by firms that will pay higher wages.
The Road Haulage Association said earlier this month that it believed there was a shortage of around 100,000 drivers after the sector was hit by EU worker rules as a result of Brexit and drivers being told to quarantine by the NHS Covid-19 app.
Earlier this month, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a consultation to ease driver qualification requirements in a package of measures designed to help the issue.
He also announced a temporary extension of lorry drivers’ working hours from nine to 10 hours a day but the move faced criticism from unions.
with PA Wires