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

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LONDON, Sept 21 (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 TSCO.L, 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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