M&S pay row intensifies as workers and management engage on proposals this week

Helen Cahill
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Pay changes at M&S have been causing controversy (Source: Getty)

M&S management are set to respond to staff concerns about cuts to premium pay this Thursday, City A.M. understands.

M&S are planning to remove extra pay for employees working on Sunday and have been hearing alternative proposals from staff as part of an ongoing consultation.

Read more: M&S accused of threatening to sack staff who reject new contracts

Staff have made ten counter-proposals to management. One of their key proposals is that staff could be paid one-and-a half times their hourly rate on Sunday, instead of double.

In consultation documents seen by City A.M., M&S said the company has “used the introduction of the UK National Living Wage as an opportunity to review how we reward our people.”

The retailer is increasing its base rate pay while removing Sunday and bank holiday premium pay.

An M&S spokesperson said: "We believe our proposed new approach to pay and pensions would reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for our customers.

Read more: May issues cautious living wage defence

"The proposals include one of highest pay rates and one of the best benefits packages in UK retail. The consultation is ongoing and we are listening carefully to our colleagues and their representatives."

M&S has been accused by shopworkers' union Usdaw of threatening to sack staff who do not accept the contract changes.

Documents previously seen by City A.M. showed M&S told staff: "One option which the company would consider is following due process to take the technical step of terminating contracts of employment of those who do not agree and offering re-engagement on new contracts of employment which include the changes."

According to City A.M. sources, any staff member who opts for this course of action will not receive a transitional payment from M&S, which the company is otherwise offering to employees facing a pay cut.

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