Sainsbury’s has confirmed plans to introduce changes to how its stores are run and colleagues are rewarded, following a meaningful and comprehensive consultation process with colleagues across the country.

The package of changes is intended to rectify the unfairness of colleagues working side-by-side in store, doing exactly the same job, but being paid different amounts, depending on when they started working for Sainsbury’s.

The changes will make pay, terms and conditions fair and consistent for all Sainsbury’s store colleagues. At the heart of the plans is a pay increase that will see the hourly rate increase from £8 to £9.20 per hour.

The pay increase represents an investment of over £110 million and will make Sainsbury’s the highest paying retailer in the country.

As a result of these changes, over 121,000 Sainsbury’s colleagues across the country will this year receive an average pay rise of 9.3%. This gives a pay rise of more than 30% over the past four years.

The increase is part of a broader package that aims to ensure Sainsbury’s and its colleagues are well placed to deal with the challenges and opportunities of the retail environment of tomorrow.
Contractual changes being introduced from September include:

  • Streamlined and broader roles, moving from 22 specific roles to five: Trading Assistant; Food Services Assistant; Online Assistant; GM & Clothing Assistant and Services Assistant
  • Changes to productivity, flexibility and attendance standards to ensure that colleagues are always in the right place at the right time for our customers
  • Removal of the colleague bonus and paid breaks

Following the conclusion of the consultation process, the pay increase and contractual changes will come into effect in September 2018.

Simon Roberts, Retail and Operations Director at Sainsbury’s, said:

“I believe this is the right thing to do and am proud to be offering such a significant pay boost to over 120,000 store colleagues across the country. This is in recognition of their hard work and dedication to providing our customers with best in class service every day. This also sets our business up for the future, ensuring we have a better-equipped workforce, fit for the future of retail.

“The changes we are introducing from September will make pay and contracts fair and consistent for all of our colleagues, in every store, regardless of age or length of service.”

The confirmation of the plans follows a comprehensive consultation process with more than 100 colleague representatives and their unions, who also attended, that considered the changes to pay and terms and conditions.

A number of improvements to the contractual offer have been agreed with colleagues as a result of this process, including:

  • Location pay extended to colleagues working in all outer London boroughs
  • Increase to unsociable hour premium payments, from £2.20 to £2.45 an hour
  • Increase to online driver payments, from 50p to 75p an hour

These changes come at a cost to the business of over £10 million, in addition to the £100 million already committed.

While over 93% of store colleagues will see a pay boost, a minority will not benefit from the changes being introduced.

Simon Roberts added:

“We don’t want anyone to lose out and, for this reason, our plans have always included top-up payments for an 18-month period to ensure that nobody at Sainsbury’s will earn less than they do today. At the end of the 18 months, in March 2020, we will review our hourly rate of pay again.”