New research by Citizens UK reveals that 45% of supermarket workers (410,000 employees) earn below the real Living Wage.
Citizens UK released new evidence today (Wednesday 13th January 2021) on the scale of low pay in the UK’s major supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Ocado.
The new figures out today reveal the scale of the ‘pay gap’ - the difference between the highest earners and the rest - for the UK supermarket industry, showing that supermarkets have some of the largest pay gaps between CEOs and their colleagues.
Some of the research includes:
- Tesco, Morrisons and Ocado are amongst the top 10 FTSE 350 companies with the biggest pay gaps.
- Tesco is the third highest with a pay ratio of 305:1 for CEO/median employee ratios and 355:1 for lower quartile employee ratios.
- Supermarket workers are given fewer hours, despite reporting to want to work more. Supermarket employees works 28 hours per week, in comparison to 37 hours across sectors.
- 1 in 3 Sainsbury’s staff struggling to pay their bills and food.
Citizens UK are calling on the UK’s leading supermarkets to pay their staff the real Living Wage and accredit with the Living Wage Foundation.
The Living Wage currently stands at £9.50 per hour in the UK outside of London and £10.85 per hour inside of London. It is the only UK hourly rate of earnings that is based on the cost of living.
December was a record month for British supermarkets, with shoppers spending nearly £12bn, the highest Christmas trading result on record. However, not one UK supermarket is accredited with the Living Wage Foundation. There are almost 7,000 Living Wage employers in the UK.
Sue, a Sainsbury’s employee of almost 25 years who has had to get a second job to cover the bills, said:
“Two and a half years ago we stopped getting paid for our breaks so now when I work a 6 hour shift I only get paid for 5 hours and 40 minutes – the system they use automatically deducts a 20 minute break from your clocking in card.
In effect for a 6 hour shift I’m only getting £8.78 an hour. I’ve had to get a second job because I was struggling to pay the bills on this job alone. We’re the backbone of the company at the moment and deserve better.”