Next boss Lord Wolfson has pledged to raise shopfloor staff wages by 5% and offer a share of his bonus if there is a shortfall in funds.

Wolfson revealed in a letter to staff that the October pay rise will increase the wages of 20,000 store staff from £6.70 to £7.04 or up to £7.58 when bonuses are included, according to The Guardian.

In the letter, Wolfson wrote that he had agreed with the board that any bonus he is due in the year ahead will be used to help fill any gap in funding.

Wolfson was paid £4.66m in cash and shares last year, which included a £1.1m bonus.

Next hopes to fund the pay increase through rising sales and cost cuts.

Wolfson added: “Spread across so many people my future bonus might not amount to a great deal per head, but I hope at least it will convince you of the company’s sincerity.”

The letter comes following reports that Wolfson had declared the campaign for a living wage “irrelevant” and in the letter to staff he claims his comments were misconstrued.  

He wrote: “I certainly did not intend to belittle the difficulties some people have in making ends meet.”