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Co-op, Curry’s, John Lewis and Tesco invest in staff pay


A host of UK retailers have boosted staff pay and benefit packages, with million-pound investments announced.

Co-op said its frontline store colleagues will receive a 10.1% pay increase to at least £12 per hour, in line with the Real Living Wage.

“Our store colleagues are the heart of our member-owned business and we truly value their dedication and hard work. We’re proud to continue to be aligned to the Real Living Wage, which makes Co-op one of the top food retailers in terms of pay,” explained Matt Hood, MD Co-op Food.

“Co-op continues to operate in challenging environments and volatile markets, some of which we have only recently stabilised. However, we believe this investment in our colleagues is of paramount importance to recognise their outstanding commitment to serving our Member-owners and shoppers in communities all across the UK.”

The convenience retailer will also continue its 30% own brand colleague discount and paid breaks.

Curry’s staff will now earn £12.33 per hour on average, with top performers pulling in a £13.95 an hour, following a £13mn investment by the electricals retailer.

“Our passionate and dedicated colleagues are what make Currys special, and we’re delighted to be able to offer them this latest pay rise. We’re continuing to put our money where our mouth is and invest in our most important asset: our people. It’s what we said we would do, and we’re delivering on that promise,” said Paula Coughlan, chief people, comms and sustainability officer at Currys.

Over the past three years, Currys has raised its minimum hourly pay by 29%. The retailer said this represents a significant increase in take-home pay. For instance, a colleague working 20 hours a week will have seen their annual earnings rise by nearly £2,700 over this three year period.

Currys is also investing in its programme of learning and development, which is designed to increase the skills and earning potential of its colleagues.

While, Tesco has reached an agreement with trade union USDAW that will increase the hourly pay rate for colleagues in stores from £11.02 to £12.02, above the Real Living Wage.  

Tesco stressed that it remains one of the few supermarkets to recognise an independent trade union and negotiate pay rates with them for all its hourly paid colleagues in the UK.

This new rate will come into effect from April 2024 and represents a 9.1% rise in base pay and a record investment of more than £300mn in hourly colleague pay.

Matthew Barnes, Tesco UK CEO, said: “This represents another significant investment in our colleagues, building on the last two years of investment. We recognise the amazing work our colleagues do every day in serving our customers and we’re really proud to offer such competitive rates of pay alongside a great range of exclusive colleague benefits.”

Tesco also provides colleagues with Colleague Clubcard discount of up to 15% on their shopping, free food in store canteens and a pay advance scheme.

Additionally, there are reports that John Lewis and Partners will invest £116mn in staff wages, leading to a 10% increase in pay. Minimum wage will rise to £12.89 in London and £11.55 per hour nationwide. According to Retail Week, the partnership, which also owns grocer Waitrose, is expected to confirm the record pay budget when it posts results next week.

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