Morrisons staff have broadly welcomed the 20% increase in its minimum hourly pay rate to £8.20 - despite the loss of a number of bonuses and premiums.
The new rate will be a blanket pay band for customer assistants. As part of the negotiations agreed with shopworkers’ union Usdaw, Morrisons is removing the premiums paid to staff for working Sundays, which could save it cash if and when the government’s plans to relax Sunday trading rules come into force.
Morrisons is also removing special early and late working rates, different pay for café cooks, the overtime rate and paid breaks. Employees who joined Morrisons will also now only get service awards at every five-year mark, rather than every year.
“In general it’s getting a good reception,” one Morrisons employee told The Grocer. Staff on the Morrisons forum also seemed pleased, though there were concerns about the loss of the Sunday premium and paid breaks. However, Morrisons pointed out that any member of staff who would end up losing out because of the changes would receive a 2% support payment for the next 2.5 years.
The deal is subject to a vote by union members, but if passed will come into effect from 28 March.
“We have been listening to our colleagues who told us they want their pay to be more competitive and simpler,” said chief executive David Potts. “By paying a significantly higher hourly rate, we are recognising the contribution of our excellent staff.”
Morrisons said the move would cost it more than £40m and would benefit more than 90,000. It makes Morrisons the first of the big four to pay the wage set by the Living Wage Foundation and matches the pay rise announced by Lidl earlier this month for 17,000 of its staff.