Sainsbury’s is shaking up its HR and training department both at head office and across its store network in a move that could lead to significant job losses.

It is understood to be cutting the number of people in its Personnel and Training department by more than half at its head office. A source close to Sainsbury’s told The Grocer the department was being reduced from 35 staff to 15 in a “cost-cutting measure”.

He also said Sainsbury’s had “scored” employees on a number of performance criteria before the round of cuts and had based their decisions upon the results. 

However some people had successfully appealed, had their scores lifted and hung on to their jobs.

Sainsbury’s would not comment on how many jobs could be lost. However, it confirmed that at its 500 stores, it planned to reduce the number of staff employed in HR roles to one to two per store. 

Every store would retain an HR manager and in some cases an HR manager in training “to ensure a talent pipeline for the future”, said a spokeswoman.

Where there were surplus staff, Sainsbury’s would strive to “find alternative roles for as many of these colleagues as possible”, she added.

The spokeswoman said the shake-up was part of an 18-month review during which it had “been working towards improving HR services”. Sainsbury’s had been working closely with staff since February 2007 and the process had been fair and transparent, she added. 

The move appears to be part of a wider review of operations. 

Last month The Grocer revealed that Sainsbury’s had put all its duty managers on a 12-week redundancy plan and asked them to reapply for newly created deputy manager roles. 

The move is expected to lead to lead to fewer deputy mangers than there are currently duty managers.