Marks & Spencer announces hourly pay rise for 40,000 staff

Some 40,000 staff at Marks & Spencer are set to benefit from a pay rise from April, as it becomes the latest retailer to announce a hike ahead of a rise in the national minimum wage.

The group said it was spending £89 million on increasing pay for UK customer assistants across its food and clothing shops from £10.90 an hour to £12 an hour from April 1.

For staff working in London, minimum hourly wages will rise from £12.05 to £13.15.

The move means M&S staff will be paid slightly more than the National Living Wage, often referred to as the minimum wage, which is set to rise to £11.44 in April and will apply to 21- and 22-year-olds for the first time.

M&S said the higher hourly rate equates to about £180 a month more for full-time workers.

Stuart Machin, the retailer’s chief executive, said it marked the group’s “biggest ever investment” into pay, with standard hourly wages rising by a quarter over two years.

“Our vision is to be the most trusted retailer – and that starts with being the most trusted employer,” he added.

Other UK retailers have announced pay rises for shop workers in recent months.

Discounted supermarket Lidl said its 26,000 hourly-paid employees will benefit from entry level rates of £12 an hour from March, rising to £13 with length of service.

Those working in stores inside the M25 will see pay rates rise to £13.55, increasing to £13.85 over time.

Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Ikea have also announced minimum pay rises for staff outside of London to £12 per hour.

Meanwhile, M&S said that from April, it is introducing six weeks’ paternity leave at full pay, and doubling its maternity and adoption leave to 26 weeks at full pay.

These measures will cost it £5 million a year, the company said.

Its UK team support managers will also see hourly rates rise from £12.20 to £13.05, and from £13.35 to £14.20 for those in London.