Sainsbury’s is hiking hourly rates of pay for shopfloor staff as part of sweeping contract changes designed to “simplify the business”.
The supermarket giant said it will pay staff an “industry-leading” £9.20 per hour – up from the current base rate of £8.
Sainsbury’s employees in central London will be paid the higher rate of £9.80 per hour as part of a £100m investment.
The proposed pay hike comes as part of a raft of changes planned to the contracts of store-based staff.
Sainsbury’s said as part of the move, it will make changes to premium payments in order to make them “fairer and consistent”.
It also plans to strip out staff bonuses and paid breaks.
The grocer said shopfloor roles will be “streamlined” to create five “broader” roles – down from the 22 it currently offers.
Sainsbury’s said the changes would leave the positions of trading assistant, food services assistant, online assistant, GM and clothing assistant and services assistant.
All of the retailer’s 130,000 shopfloor staff will be offered the new contracts, with the new terms expected to come into force from September.
Sainsbury’s admitted that “a small proportion” of workers “may be adversely impacted” by the changes and pledged to make “top-up payments” for 18 months to ensure no employees are left worse off during that period.
It has launched a consultation on the changes this morning, which run “over the coming months”.
Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Simon Roberts said: “The retail sector has never been more competitive and we know that our customers really value our colleagues and the excellent service they provide in our shops.
“Which is why we think it is so important to invest further in our colleagues so they feel rewarded and motivated to do the best possible job for our customers every day. We expect the best from our teams and that’s why we’re committing to a leading rate of pay. Great pay for great work.
“Together with our recent proposals to change our management structure in stores, we believe the proposed changes will set us up to run the best shops in the industry, delivering the best possible service for our customers.”
The changes come just over a month after Retail Week revealed Sainsbury’s was “resetting” its its store management structure in a move that left “thousands” of shopfloor staff facing an uncertain future.
The grocer is axing the roles of deputy manager, department manager and team leader, in sweeping changes that will affect staff across its supermarket and c-store estate.
Sainsbury’s plans to replace those roles in each branch with operations managers and a newly created customer and trading manager position, for which impacted workers are being invited to apply.
A consultation on those changes is ongoing and expected to run until May.
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