In light of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis in the UK, Marks & Spencer has launched a 15 million pound package aimed at supporting its front-line employees.
From October 1, over 40,000 colleagues will see their hourly pay increased to a minimum of 10 pounds and 20 pence, following an initial pay increase to 10 pounds from 9 pound 50 pence in April.
The retailer said that, combined, this represents an annual uplift of 7.4 percent, meaning full-time customer assistants will earn over 100 pounds more each month compared to the same period last year.
Additionally, Marks & Spencer added it will also provide 4,500 of its salaried pre-management employees in its stores and support centres with a one-off 250 pound voucher to spend within the retailer.
The decision falls in line with feedback from its colleague listening schemes and employee representatives, the company noted, as it looked to update its benefits.
Further free initiatives now offered by Marks & Spencer include everyday food items and sanitary products, financial planning workshops, health benefits and support from a company nutritionist.
In a release, Stuart Machin, CEO of the retailer, commented on the strain the increasing crisis is having on both employees and businesses alike.
Machin added in a statement: “We want to do what we can to help ease some of that strain; that's why we have invested in price to deliver better value for our customers and, why we are investing in our colleague base pay for the second time this year.
“Our colleagues are our biggest asset, and we want to ensure they are fully supported and rewarded for the remarkable contribution they make to Marks & Spencer.”