Belfast Telegraph

Marks & Spencer’s workforce could be hit by pay shake-up

By Ben Woods

Marks & Spencer’s boss has said the retail giant — which has 18 stores in Northern Ireland — will face more “tough decisions” as he moves to shake-up staff pay.

Chief executive Steve Rowe branded the performance of its clothing and home arm “unacceptable” after last week reporting that like-for-like sales plummeted 8.9%. Mr Rowe added that he is changing M&S’s pay and pension scheme to make the firm more sustainable “in the long-term”.

In changes likely to hit its 1,000-strong workforce in Northern Ireland, the company plans to cut premium pay for Sundays, bank holidays and anti-social hours for close to 7,000 people, while 11,000 workers will be impacted by cuts to pension contributions.

The proposals will also see basic pay increased by 15% from next April to £8.50 an hour, benefiting 62,000 staff. Speaking to shareholders at Wembley Stadium, he said: “I know that it is a big ask for me to stand here today with a new set of ideas for you but trust me that things will be different this time.”

He told the company’s annual general meeting: “We will have to take some tough decisions along the way.”

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