Britain’s M&S raises staff pay for second time in 2022

LONDON (Reuters) -Marks & Spencer on Wednesday became the latest British retailer to again raise pay for store workers amid a cost-of-living crisis and a tight labour market.

With Britain’s jobless rate at its lowest since 1974 the Bank of England is watching pay settlements closely as it mulls further rises in interest rates.

M&S said that from Oct. 1 more than 40,000 workers will see their hourly pay increase to a minimum of 10.20 pounds ($11.57).

The additional autumn pay review, a first for M&S, follows an initial pay increase in April to 10.00 pounds an hour from 9.50 pounds.

Combined, this represents an annual raise of 7.4%. However, UK inflation was 9.9% in August.

The clothing and food retailer said its new package to support workers would cost it 15 million pounds.

It includes a one-off 250 pounds M&S voucher for 4,500 salaried colleagues at pre-management levels in stores and support centres. Other staff benefits include free food and sanitary products.

Last week Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second largest grocer, raised staff pay for the first time outside of its annual pay review, while the John Lewis Partnership said it would pay a one-off cost of living support payment of 500 pounds for full-time employees.

Retailers, including market leader Tesco, are also stepping up perks for workers.

Shares in M&S were down 0.4% at 1016 GMT, extending 2022 losses to 51.8%.

($1 = 0.8818 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kylie MacLellan and Jason Neely)

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