John Lewis has today announced that it will up the salaries of its lorry drivers by £5,000 a year as the current shortage of HGV drivers continues to weigh on the supermarket sector.
The retailer said that the rise, which works out at roughly £2 an hour, came in response to the shortfall, which has left shelves bare in some supermarkets.
Around 900 drivers currently employed will benefit from the higher pay rates, John Lewis said.
It also said that it would give new drivers who join before November – the firm’s peak trading period – a £1,000 bonus.
The recent “pingdemic” of people being forced to isolate after being alerted by the NHS Covid-19 app has poured pressure on supply chains, leaving supermarkets and other shops with empty shelves.
Currently, there is a shortfall of around 60,000 HGV drivers as a result of both Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic.
Logistics firms have already warned that the issue could affect Christmas and Black Friday.
Mark Robinson, director of supply chain for the John Lewis Partnership, said:
“There’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel for Waitrose and John Lewis. We’re responding quickly to the national driver shortage by ensuring our drivers are paid competitively and by investing in training for the future.
“These changes will mean that we can continue to serve our customers well and get them the products they need.”