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The HR news briefing:
Morrisons’ pledge to be the first UK supermarket to pay minimum £10 an hour will benefit up to 96,000 workers
From April Morrisons will become the first UK supermarket chain to pay its staff a minimum wage of £10 per hour, up from the £9.20 minimum for up to 96,000 workers across its stores.
The decision follows negotiations with retail trade union Usdaw and is 50p an hour above the voluntary Living Wage Foundation rate.
Sheila Flavell, chief operating officer at FDM Group told HR magazine that the supermarket’s rise in minimum wage demonstrates its dedication to being a nondiscriminatory employer.
“It is great to see a large chain like Morrisons become the first UK supermarket to pay a minimum of £10 an hour,” she said.
“It shows commitment to being a fair and inclusive employer and will most likely have a positive impact on the pay gap. Retail in the UK has faced huge challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, and it has been a particularly tough time for food retail staff who have worked throughout.”
Flavell suggested other large supermarkets should follow suit and raise minimum wage, particularly at such a difficult time in peoples’ careers.
She said: “Essential retail workers supply communities with a vital service and deserve our support as we continue to live through the pandemic. These efforts should be rewarded by decent pay and Morrison’s have certainly been a pioneer.
“Organisations of all sizes should endeavour to offer competitive salaries to demonstrate that they value their staff. It is important that supermarket CEOs also consider workplace wellness, gender equality, whilst building a diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Employees continue overworking during third lockdown
Research from office supplier Furniture at Work found that 52% of UK workers said they are doing more hours in a week when working from home. While 47% reported starting work earlier each morning, 49% said they are working until late more often than if they were working from the office.
The research also found that employees who reported working extra hours were working an average of 5 hours and 54 minutes more every week, that would equal 40.9 days extra across a whole year of work.
Speaking to HR magazine, Sophie Forrest, founder and managing director of HR support company ForrestHR, said the third lockdown has meant that there’s a very real danger of employees burning out.
“Not only mental burnout from exhaustion and lack of variety, as well as from being stuck in the same four walls all the time but also physically, from the very real harm we can cause ourselves being glued to computer screens all day,” said Forrest.
Although working longer hours is sustainable in the short term, as our flight or fight reflex gives us the ability to pull out all the stops in an emergency, Forrest said as a way of life it’s creating a timebomb of mental and physical health problems.
She added: “It’s really important that companies take stock now to stop these emergency measures becoming an ingrained culture and make sure they are supporting their staff to be their best selves, which in turn will boost productivity and profit.”
A d o b e S t o c k ra p h y :
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6 HR January/February 2021