Supermarkets create 30,000 jobs to meet surging demand

Morrisons is seeking thousands of home delivery staff
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Supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda have embarked on a hiring spree in order to meet high demand.

As shoppers continue to clear shelves of many essential items during the coronavirus outbreak, retailers have created more than 30,000 new jobs to help ensure that their stores are replenished.

Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket, is seeking 20,000 temporary workers to work in its stores for at least the next 12 weeks. Its recruitment process has been streamlined so it is able to process applications, assess eligibility to work and interview candidates in a single day.

“We launched our recruitment drive online on Wednesday and since then, we have already been overwhelmed by support from the public and thank everyone who has applied to work with us in stores. We have seen 140,000 views on our Tesco Careers page and over the coming days thousands of new colleagues will join us in helping to feed the nation,” Tesco’s chief people officer Natasha Adams said.

On Friday, Aldi said it had made 4,000 permanent positions and 5,000 temporary jobs available at its stores and distributions centres.

Recruitment director Kelly Stokes said: “We want to keep supporting our local communities through these uncertain times, with access to groceries and wages to keep their families going, and we feel we’re in a position to be able to do so through the creation of these new roles.

“We have a huge number of roles to fill across the business so we’re encouraging everyone who has been affected by Covid-19’s impact on the economy to explore our available roles and see if we can get you back into work.”

Asda is working with other employers to offer temporary secondments to Asda roles, ensuring individuals remain in work and companies do not have the additional pressure of staff costs during the Covid-19 crisis. Staff are being urged to reach out to friends and family who have lost their jobs because of the virus.

Last week, Morrisons said it would create an additional 3,500 jobs. Of these, 2,500 will be delivery drivers and home delivery pickers, as it expands its home delivery service into more regions. The remaining 1,000 will be in its distribution centres.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We expect the days, weeks and months ahead to be very testing and we are determined to do our bit. These measures will support our very hard-working colleagues, enable us to provide more food to more people in their homes and create opportunities for people whose jobs are affected by the coronavirus.”

Lidl said it would create around 2,500 temporary jobs across its 800 stores in the UK.

Many employers, especially in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors, have had to lay off staff or make redundancies due to a downturn in business or government instruction to close. Holiday park operator Butlin’s said it would have to lay off 10,000 seasonal workers if it did not get enough government state aid to pay their wages, while Hays Travel, which acquired Thomas Cook’s shops following its collapse last year, has cut 880 jobs out of a workforce of about 5,000.

The Arcadia group, which owns Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Miss Selfridge, closed all of its stores on Friday. Staff will remain on full pay until the end of March, but it is unclear what action will be taken beyond this period.

Other retailers including New Look, H&M, Gap, The Body Shop, Zara and River Island have also temporarily closed their doors as people have been urged to remain at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

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