B&Q has raised its hourly rate of pay and now claims to be the highest-paying major retailer in the UK.
The home improvement retailer has increased the hourly rate for its UK employees to £12.21 and up to £13.55 in London.
Starting from April 2024, the rise represents an increase of 7%, ahead of the current rate of inflation, 77p higher than the government’s 2024 National Living Wage and 21p higher than the Real Living Wage.
The rise will be given to all hourly employees aged over 18 and builds on an 8.9% year-on-year increase last year.
According to the retailer, 16,500 B&Q colleagues will get an extra 90p per hour, which is worth more than £1,700 more a year for a full-time colleague.
The rise coincides with an end to paid breaks at the retailer, which was revealed by Retail Week at the end of last year. The changes involved cutting staff hours from January and increasing pay to £11.44 to compensate.
According to internal documents seen by Retail Week, the changes would mean a worker contracted to 39 hours per week would move to 36 hours and 45 minutes, swapping unpaid breaks for fewer hours.
B&Q chief executive Graham Bell said of the pay increase: “We want to strengthen the competitiveness of our pay position in the market so that we continue to attract and retain the colleagues we need to serve our customers and help them improve their homes.
“From April, we’ll be increasing pay for our customer advisers by 8% to £12.21 per hour, which for full-time colleagues is worth over £1,700 more a year. This increase means our minimum hourly rate has increased by over 27% in the last three years and is currently the highest of any major UK retailer.
“We highly value our frontline colleagues and hope this new hourly rate demonstrates that. Rewarding our colleagues fairly is an important factor in helping us to deliver growth for the business, as well as continuing improvement of our customers’ shopping experience, both in store and online.”