arks & Spencer (M&S) has announced pay rises for more than 40,000 of its staff, marking the second pay increase this year as the retailer responds to cost of living concerns.

The retail giant will also give a £250 M&S voucher to 4,500 pre-management level staff in its stores and support centres.

The pay rise will increase the firm’s minimum hourly wage to £10.20 from October 1, which was already raised to £10 from £9.50 in April, above the national and real living wage.

The support package will cost the business around £15m, M&S said on Wednesday.

M&S staff are entitled to a range of benefits, including free daily food and hygiene products all year round, the firm said.

Workers at its distribution center at Castle Donington, Leicestershirealso established a one-time free meal per shift.

Sainsbury’s, the UK’s second-biggest supermarket chain, unveiled a £25m package last week, increasing the minimum wage and offering free food during shifts.

Hourly pay will rise from £10 to £10.25 an hour for around 127,000 staff from October, just above M&S’s recently announced basic pay.

Cost of living is the most talked about issue among our colleagues and we really welcome the support package from M&S

Stuart Machin, chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said: “Whether you run a home or a business, everyone across the country is feeling the pressure of rising costs.

“We want to do what we can to alleviate some of that tension; that’s why we’ve invested in price to deliver better value for our customers, and why we’re investing in our colleagues’ base pay for the second time this year.

“Our colleagues are our greatest asset and we want them to be fully supported and rewarded for the outstanding contribution they make to M&S.”

M&S is among a series of major employers to unveil measures to support staff amid a cost-of-living hike that has seen food inflation hit its highest level in more than a decade.

A retail giant John Lewis earlier in September it announced a one-off cost-of-living payment of £500 for all its full-time workers.

UK consumer price inflation hit 9.9% in August and economists warn it could rise even higher this year.

Graham Bennett, Chair of M&S’s National Business Engagement Group, said:Cost of living this is the most discussed issue among our colleagues and we very much welcome the support package from M&S.

“We are pleased that our management team has listened to colleagues and responded, and we will continue to work closely with them during what is the busiest time of the year for retail.”

It is the first time M&S has introduced an additional autumn pay review as cost concerns come to a head for staff, the company said.


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