Waitrose has been accused of forcing reduced redundancy payouts on some of its warehouse staff who were at risk of losing their jobs.

Waitrose & Partners generic shop image

The supermarket chain is under fire after offering impacted staff a lower reundancy package, despite having proposed “a more generous payout” in January this year, according to The Telegraph.

Staff are now expected to receive one week’s pay for every year of service rather than the previous two-week policy, on top of the statutory redundancy, which was “higher than typical market practice”.

Earlier this year Waitrose parent company John Lewis Partnership announced plans to halve redundancy payouts.

The newspaper reported that staff claimed that a review into the anticipated closure of a warehouse in Enfield had begun before the changes to redundancy packages were made.

However, JLP claimed a counter-proposal was rejected and the Enfield closure was formally settled on March 6, “after the announcement of the new redundancy pay terms”.

More than 500 workers are said to be at risk of redundancy at the Enfield site whose closure is expected to save Waitrose around £8.7m.

A spokesman for Waitrose said: “Following a detailed review and consultation with local partners, we’ve taken the decision to close our Enfield site.

“Unfortunately, excess capacity elsewhere in our network along with rising rent meant it was no longer a viable option to keep the site open.

“It’s in no way a reflection of the team, and our focus is now on offering them our full support ahead of the closure. We’ve also put measures in place to mitigate any impact on customer service.”

JLP confirmed it would not be awarding a partnership bonus this year as it steams ahead on its turnaround strategy.