Currys increases staff pay to help with cost-of-living crisis
Inflationary pressures and chronic staff shortages have compelled Currys to become the latest major retailer to raise wages on a regular basis.
Workers have been offered a third pay increase in 13 months, despite the cost of living crisis.
The electrical goods retailer stated it was taking steps to attract and retain employees.
Companies across the United Kingdom are struggling to fill a record number of job vacancies.
Beginning on October 30, basic pay will increase by 3.5 percent to a minimum of £10.35 per hour or £11.43 in London.
More than 10,000 workers are expected to benefit from the decision.
This is only a month after a previous increase went into effect.
When combined with a pay increase 13 months ago, the company stated that base hourly pay had increased by 15.6% in just over a year.
Inflation surpassed 10 percent earlier this year for the first time since 1982, as skyrocketing energy prices and the rising cost of a weekly shop put enormous strain on workers and families.
Currys’ decision follows a review conducted by a “cost of living group” formed earlier this year by the retailer and comprised of senior executives from across the company.
Currys’ decision to raise pay multiple times over the course of a year follows similar decisions made by other high-street retailers in the midst of a labour shortage.
As a result of the Covid pandemic and Brexit, inflation is on the rise, and the UK workforce is shrinking.
Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, has warned against large pay increases, which could lead to inflation becoming “embedded” in the economy through a wage-price spiral, in which higher wages and higher prices fuel each other.
Unions, on the other hand, have dismissed the argument as “a call for a national pay cut,” while demanding that CEOs exercise restraint when it comes to executive pay and profit margins.
While some employers are increasing pay, official figures show that average wage growth remains below inflation.
Currys said “the current economic climate and feedback from colleagues” had led to the extra pay rise before its regular pay review in the spring, the results of which workers usually receive in August.
While the new pay rate is higher than the government’s legal minimum – £9.50 per hour for workers aged 23 and up – it is still lower than the “real living wage” of £10.90 per hour across the UK and £11.95 in London, which is used by 11,000 employers accredited by the Living Wage Foundation charity.
The foundation announced the annual increase in the living wage last week, two months earlier than planned. It proposed its largest single increase in response to the intense pressure on households caused by skyrocketing energy prices and the highest inflation rate in 40 years.
Source: The Guardian