Sainsbury’s Boss Accused of Using Pay Increases as “Smokescreen” for Reducing Staff Benefits

Photo by Elliott Brown from Flickr

The chief executive of Sainsbury’s is currently under pressure from an MP because of the “shocking downgrading” of contracts that are offered to the staff of the company.

Yesterday Sainsbury’s said that it was increasing its basic pay for the staff of the company. However, it simultaneously revealed a series of adjustments to staff benefits. The workers of Sainsbury’s will no longer receive paid breaks. The company will also no longer be offering premium pay for the working who are working during unsocial hours.

The chief executive of Sainsbury’s, Mike Coupe, has received a letter from Siobhain McDonagh, a Labour MP. The said letter is criticising him for the new changes and requesting a meeting to discuss the contracts.

The letter accuses Coupe of making use of the pay increases as a “smokescreen” for the depletion of the benefits of its staff.

She stated: “How is it reasonable for an employer in the 21st century not to pay their staff for their 15-minute break if they are doing a full seven-hour shift?

“Staff who have dedicated their lives to your organisation and are extremely loyal towards it will lose out most in these shocking proposals. I am dismayed that a company of Sainsbury’s reputation would treat its most dedicated long-term staff in this matter.”

Various retailers are experiencing an increase in costs next month when the government hikes the rate for the national living wage to £7.83 per hour from £7.50 per hour.

Even though many retailers pay their employees more than the minimum wage, changes to the living wage rate will increase costs because firms will be required to maintain their pay differentials between those who are on the lowest wages, and those who are on higher salaries.

A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s stated: “We look forward to explaining to Siobhain how we are investing over £100m in our store colleagues.

“This brings our base rate to an industry-leading £9.20, which represents a 30 percent increase in our colleague base rate over the past four years.”