M&S hits back at criticism over new pay deal for staff

Marks and Spencer has hit back at criticisms of its new pay
deal for staff which removes the annual Christmas bonus and double-time
payments on Sunday.

The retailer had come under fire after removing the bonuses
for 55,000 sales staff, after its pre-tax profits grew by 11.5 per cent to
£721.3m.

However, Denise Keating head of people proposition at
M&S said staff would not lose out because the bonuses had been added onto
the hourly rate of pay instead.

“Our basic salaries looked low because we paid a bonus once
a year at Christmas. Now we’ll be paying the same amount in 12 instalments
instead of a lump sum,” she said.

The move was part of a pay review, which saw staff get a
three per cent increase, brining the hourly rate up from £4.68 to £4.82.

New staff coming into the business will now receive £5.18 an
hour with the bonus payments, but existing staff will stay on the same deal
until the end of the year.

“We wanted to try and consolidate the package so we could be
compared with our competitors,” she added.

The firm has also introduced a celebration day, where staff
can chose any day of the year and use it as an extra holiday.

In addition workers will also receive an extra two days
annual leave after two years service.

By Ross Wigham

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