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Retail

John Lewis And Co-op Latest UK Retailers To Raise Staff Pay

By Reuters
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John Lewis And Co-op Latest UK Retailers To Raise Staff Pay

The John Lewis Partnership and the Co-op became the latest British retailers to increase staff pay as they react to a rise in the government-mandated minimum wage.

The John Lewis Partnership, which runs John Lewis department stores and the Waitrose supermarket chain, employing 76,000 people, said it would raise its minimum rates of staff pay by 10%, starting 1 April, at a cost of £116 million (€136.68 million).

Its minimum hourly rates will rise to £11.55 (€13.52) across the UK – above the government's national living wage, which will increase by 9.8% to £11.44 (€13.40) an hour.

The partnership's rate for London staff will rise to £12.89 (€15.09).

The Co-op, which is owned by its members and runs Britain's seventh biggest grocery chain, said it would increase pay for 37,000 store workers by 10.1%.

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Its hourly rate will rise to £12.00 (€14.04), or £13.15 (€15.39) in London.

'At The Heart'

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

Wage Settlements

The Bank of England is keeping a close eye on wage settlements as it assesses the direction of interest rates. It fears rapid wage growth could add more inflationary pressure across the economy.

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Worker wages in Britain have only recently begun outpacing inflation, which held steady at 4% in January, still double the central bank's target of 2%.

On Tuesday, Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, announced a 9.1% rise.

Sainsbury's, Britain's No. 2 supermarket group, No. 3 Asda, Marks & Spencer, Amazon, Aldi, Lidl and Costa Coffee have also announced pay rises for 2024.

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