Marks & Spencer (M&S) has announced plans to invest £57 million in pay rises for store workers.
More than 40,000 customer assistants will soon see their hourly rate rise well above the national living wage, from £10.20 to £10.90, with staff in London receiving an increase of 80 pence an hour, from £11.23 to £12.05.
The retailer says the move, which comes into effect on 1 April, is “its biggest ever investment in front-line colleague reward”.
Stuart Machin, chief executive at M&S, said: “Whether you’re running a home or a business, everyone is trying to balance the reality of rising costs. Of course, we all hope inflation subsides, and there are some positive signs that it is doing so, but we need to help colleagues in the here and now. That’s why we are investing so significantly in our hourly rates of pay and why we are supporting colleagues with a continued commitment to our wide-ranging package of industry leading benefits.”
The announcement follows a £46.5m investment in employee pay during the 22/23 financial year. This involved two separate rate increases, including M&S’s first Autumn pay review. As a result, a customer assistant working full-time will earn almost £150 a month more than they did this time last year.
According to the company, its continued investment in wages means that hourly pay has grown above the rate of inflation for this two-year period, by more than 20% since the start of 2021.
Staff also have access to a wide range of employee benefits, with M&S working closely with those in its Business Involvement Group (BIG) in the last year to “ensure its benefits package accurately reflects the changing needs of colleagues”.
Current benefits include discounts across all M&S-branded clothing, food and home products, a generous pension contribution, employee share schemes, access to a 24/7 virtual GP service and employee assistance programme for the whole family and free eye tests at M&S Opticians, as well as other health and wellbeing benefits, such as free Check4Cancer support and risk assessments for the top five most common cancers in the UK – with free screenings for higher-risk staff.