Marks & Spencer has confirmed its proposed pay and pension changes will go ahead, following consultation with its employees.
Customer assistants will get a 14.7% pay rise to £8.50 per hour and £9.65 in Greater London from April 2017 and there will be pay rises for section co-ordinators and section managers.
The retailer is removing premiums for Sunday working and moving to a standard payment for bank holidays and will top up pay to this year’s levels for two years for anyone who will receive lower pay as a result of the changes.
In 2019/20, employees that will still receive lower pay compared to this year will receive an additional top-up payment of 50% and will be offered extra hours to make up the remaining 50%.
Regarding pensions, active members of M&S’s defined benefit scheme will no longer earn new benefits in that scheme from April 2017 and will be offered the chance to join the defined contribution plan.
It is extending the cash supplement support for those affected by the changes from two to three years and will maintain death-in-service benefit at four times salary for members of the defined benefit scheme that choose not to enrol in the defined contribution plan.
The changes will result in a non-underlying charge in this financial year of between £100m and £150m.
“We’ve listened to our colleagues, acted on their feedback and are pleased that we’ve reached an outcome that gives enhanced support for our colleagues as well as making necessary changes to our business,” said M&S retail director Sacha Berendji.
“The changes will reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for our customers.”
John Dorrington, chair of the retailer’s employee representative group, added: “On behalf of the Business Involvement Group, our elected employee representative body, we are satisfied that we have concluded a period of robust collective consultation where all views from across M&S have been strongly represented.
”In our view the business has listened carefully to all views and suggestions and as a result has made a number of key changes to the original proposals.”
Siobhain McDonagh, the Labour MP who delivered a petition to M&S yesterday, told Drapers: “While it is good that the new offer is better, it still falls short of what the workers deserve.
“M&S has a special place in the nation’s identity so we expect them to behave better and set an example, which is why this is so disappointing. What M&S is telling their long-serving and loyal employees is that even if they work longer hours to make up the difference, they will earn no more money in three years’ time than they do today. Will Steve Rowe guarantee he will do the same?”