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M&S Boosts Staff Wages in Supermarket Pay Race

Marks & Spencer has declared an increase in wages for its staff starting in April, as supermarkets vie to retain their workforce.


Image courtesy of Marks & Spencer

The pay for employees outside London will rise to £12 per hour, while those in the capital will see their wages increase to £13.15 per hour. This adjustment ensures that all employees will receive at least the voluntary Real Living Wage, surpassing the mandatory National Living Wage.


Approximately 40,000 workers at the food and clothing retailer are set to benefit from this pay rise. Additionally, Marks & Spencer has announced significant enhancements to its maternity, paternity, and adoption policies.


Currently, the minimum wage for staff outside London is £10.90 per hour, and £12.05 for those in London. With the National Living Wage scheduled to increase to £11.44 an hour in April 2024, Marks & Spencer's employees will earn 56p more per hour than the statutory minimum wage.


Marks & Spencer joins Aldi, Sainsbury's, and Lidl in raising its minimum wage for staff outside of London to £12 per hour. Aldi has already implemented this higher wage since the beginning of February, while Lidl and Sainsbury's will apply their increased wages from March.


As of last April, Tesco, Britain's largest grocer, has been paying its workers £11.02 an hour outside London and £11.95 within the capital. However, Tesco and other companies will need to adjust their wages in line with the new minimum wage when it becomes effective this April.


Marks & Spencer also revealed on Tuesday that its team support managers would receive a wage increase to £13.05 per hour outside of London and £14.20 in the capital. The retailer stated that these raises are part of an investment exceeding £146m in its overall retail pay package since March 2022.


Furthermore, from April 2024, Marks & Spencer will be among the first retailers to offer six weeks' paternity leave at full pay. The company is also nearly doubling its maternity and adoption leave to 26 weeks at full pay, representing an annual investment of £5m.


Stuart Machin, Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer, expressed the company's ambition to be the UK's most trusted retailer and employer. He emphasised that creating an excellent workplace is not solely about pay but involves the overall package and ensuring employees feel valued and can perform their best.


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