Popular high street chain, Marks and Spencer (M&S) has been forced to defend its new pay structure after it was revealed that their employees could lose out on thousands of pounds each year.
The changes to their existing policy were announced in May 2016, and a decision on their enforcement will be made 60 days later after discussions have been carried out with staff throughout the organisation.
Under the new payment structure, premiums for working on Sundays will be stopped, Bank Holiday payments will be reduced, and additional payments for working anti-social hours will apply to employees working before 6am, rather than pre-7am as it currently stands. The company’s pensions schemes will also be cut, affecting up to 11,000 staff.
Many of the chain’s staff are campaigning against the changes, along with MPs such as Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitchem and Morden, who says that 2,000 workers stand to lose at least £1,000 a year and a further 700 will lose at least double that amount.
Marks and Spencer, however, have insisted that the majority of its workforce will actually come out better off once the changes have been introduced thanks to an increase in their minimum wage. The base rate for customer assistants in the store is set to increase from £7.41 to £8.50 outside London and £9.95 in London, with further pay rises for managers coming into effect from April 2017.
A spokes person for the company has been quoted as stating: “The proposals include one of the highest pay rates and one of the best benefits packages in UK retail. We understand that some colleagues will be disappointed by the proposals, but we are listening carefully to their feedback.”