B&Q will be awarding pay rises to employees from January 2024, increasing hourly rates to £11.31 as part of a £4 million investment.
At the same time, the DIY retailer intends to make changes to staff working hours and reduce the length of breaks, removing unpaid periods.
The move will see employees currently working 39 hours per week moving to 36-hour, 45-minute contracts from January, earning an extra £116.61 over the year.
B&Q plans to roll out the programme to all stores following a pilot carried out over the summer whereby staff had less break time and higher pay, which it says received positive feedback.
The company believes its new approach will bring it in line with other large retailers.
A B&Q spokesperson said: “We’re committed to offering competitive wages and benefits for all of our colleagues, recognising the vital role they play in delivering a great experience for our customers every day.
“To bring our approach in line with other large retailers, during the summer we undertook a pilot in two stores to reduce the length of breaks with a higher hourly rate of pay at £11.31. This is a 71p increase on the current rate of pay (£10.60 per hour) to offset the removal of pay for breaks. Actual worked hours for colleagues remain the same.
“Following positive feedback from the pilot, we announced the changes to colleagues in all stores in November, followed by one-to-one briefings to go through the new framework. Our investment of £4m in our new policy, which has been welcomed by the vast majority of colleagues, ensures there is a fair break policy for all and means that no colleague is worse off, allowing colleagues to spend less time at work for at least the same pay or be at work for the same hours for more pay. For example, a full time colleague will receive an additional £116.61p per annum and will be in store for two hours 15 minutes less each week, which is the equivalent of 105 hours across a year – nearly three weeks less time at work.
“We want everyone to benefit from these improvements and the opportunity to spend less time at work for the same pay or same time for more pay. We genuinely believe these changes are positive for all colleagues and B&Q. We continue to work with a very small number of colleagues with outstanding questions to help them understand these changes. We can confirm that there is no impact to holiday entitlement nor any risk to jobs.”
According to the retailer, the increase in hourly rate of pay in January is separate to its annual pay award, which is announced in February and comes into effect in April.
The spokesperson added: “Next year’s pay award will be significant, recognising the contribution of our colleagues and ensuring we continue to offer one of the most competitive hourly rates of pay in the market, which of course will be well above NLW.”