Co-op colleague

Source: Co-op

The move marks a record investment in staff wages for the Co-op

The Co-op is rewarding staff with a pay rise to at least £12 an hour from 1 April.

The move marks a record investment in staff wages for the Co-op, rising 10.1% from £10.90 to £12 an hour. The move represents a 21% increase since March 2022.

For Co-op customer team members working in London, the hourly rate will increase from £12.25 to £13.15. Co-op team leaders will also receive a 10.1% pay rise from £12.10 to £13.32 per hour.

“Our store colleagues are the heart of our member-owned business and we truly value their dedication and hard work,” said Co-op Food MD Matt Hood. “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.

“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.

“Additionally, we continue to offer a competitive package to all our colleagues compared to other retailers, including paid breaks, 30% own brand colleague discount and industry-leading leave policies.”

Usdaw national officer Jayne Allport said: “We are pleased to have negotiated this significant pay rise, which is a big help for our members struggling in the ongoing cost of living crisis and recognises their important contribution to the success of the business.”

The new changes are part of Co-op’s wider commitment to support colleagues. In 2022, Co-op introduced an enhanced fertility policy to support individuals, partners and surrogates receiving and recovering from the physical and psychological effects of fertility treatment. It also introduced a dedicated menopause support guide for its managers to better support colleagues experiencing perimenopause and menopause.

Last year, the Co-op introduced a new compassionate leave policy, providing greater flexibility for paid leave for bereavement and giving managers the discretion to make the right decisions for colleagues for up to 10 days paid leave.

Co-op’s pay rise announcement comes ahead of the national living wage increase next month. It is set to rise by 9.8% from £10.42 to £11.44 per hour, amounting to the largest-ever cash increase to the minimum wage. The age threshold for the NLW has also been lowered to 21 and over. Previously it was 23 and over.

The separate national minimum wage for 18 to 20-year-olds will also increase to £8.60 an hour from £7.49, while apprentices will receive an hourly pay rise of over 20%, from £5.28 to £6.40.