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M&S have advised 11,000 long-serving staff they must lose enhanced rates of pay for weekend and holiday work.
M&S have advised 11,000 long-serving staff they must lose enhanced rates of pay for weekend and holiday work.

Marks and Spencer are being accused by staff in Newton Mearns of forcing them to accept pay changes or face having their employment terminated.

A number of staff members based in the company’s store at The Avenue, Newton Mearns, have contacted local MP, Kirsten Oswald, with concerns about changes to their pay and working conditions.

M&S plans to increase basic wage rates for Customer Assistants (from £7.41 to £8.50) which is above the government’s National Living Wage with a proposal to go further.

However, as part of the changes, M&S management have advised 11,000 of their longest-serving staff that they must lose enhanced rates of pay for weekend and holiday work, or face the prospect having their contracts terminated and being re-engaged on new contracts. M&S said: “We are in a consultation period, and no decision has been taken to pursue any particular course of action.

The company would not be drawn on the position of staff who refused to accept new contracts.

Kirsten commented: “Any increase to basic pay is to be welcomed, but this should not be at the expense of long serving members of staff who thought they had a firm agreement with their employer on their pay rates.

“For once I agree with David Cameron, who said in Parliament M&S need to attract and motivate their staff if they are to compete successfully, and they won’t do that if they continue to cut people’s pay.

“M&S staff locally have a wealth of experience and make a significant contribution to the success of the Newton Mearns store.

“I will be writing to both M&S and the Chancellor to urge them to examine this set of proposals more fully.

“I hope the weight of public opinion will persuade M&S management to take a different approach.

“The M&S website says they believe in doing the right thing, not just saying it. I would urge them to do the right thing here.”

A spokesman for Marks and Spencer replied: “We believe our proposed new approach to pay and premiums would reward our people in a fair and consistent way, simplify and modernise our business and help us attract and retain the best talent so we can continue to provide great service for our customers. The proposals include one of highest pay rates and one of the best benefit packages in UK retail. We will now consult with our colleagues and listen carefully to their feedback.”