Asda offers increased pay in return for flexible contract

Wed, 15 Mar 2017
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Asda will be offering a pay-rise to its staff in return for them signing a new form of contract, which includes unpaid breaks and contracted Bank Holidays.

The Walmart-owned supermarket will pay its workers £8.50 an hour, a full pound-per-hour above the national living wage, which is set to be introduced in April.

Asda has said that this is not a zero-hour contract, nor is it compulsory.

The contract does mean that employees are required to work bank holidays, otherwise the time off will be taken from their annual holiday allowance.

On top of this, all breaks would become unpaid, and the night shift window would be moved to become later. Before the introduction of this new contract, employees would be paid a premium of £2.04 for unsociable hours that run between 10.00pm and 6.00am.

Following the introduction of this contract, the hours would become midnight until 5.00am, however the premium rate will rise to an additional £2.54 an hour.

The new contracts have been given the seal of approval by the GMB union.

Its general secretary, Tim Roache, said: "These new flexible contracts will help to ensure job security, ensure those accepting them are on the same terms and - best of all - ensure that people will earn more money as a result.

"The new contract offer involves quite a few changes, but as it's voluntary, this allows colleagues to choose whatever suits their circumstances best."

However, Living Wage Foundation, which campaigns for pay levels based on the cost of living, said that Asda should go further.

"This is a welcome pay rise for Asda's staff, however large national retailers like Ikea, Lush and Majestic Wine are already paying all their staff - including third party contractors - the real Living Wage or above at £8.45 in the UK and £9.75 in London for every hour worked," said Katherine Chapman, director of Living Wage Foundation.

"By signing up with the Living Wage Foundation they are ensuring that all their staff will have a pay rise that meets the rising cost of living year on year," she said.

Asda has said that: "maintaining its commitment not to use zero hours contracts and colleagues will be guaranteed minimum hours".

Asda added: "Whilst the new contract will require colleagues to be flexible, fair and reasonable notice will be given for any changes to rotas, and consideration will be given to those with care requirements outside of work."

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