Morrisons employees have said that morale is “super-low” following a “government-enforced pay rise'” which brings its hourly-paid workers in line with the new national living wage of £10.42 per hour.
Last week, the UK government announced the single largest increase to the living wage since it was introduced, boosting the national living wage up by 9.7%, to £10.42 from April 2023.
A Morrisons employee, who has been working at the supermarket for 18 months, told Grocery Gazette: “Morale is super low at the moment for staff, as those who now happen to be on minimum wage after the uplift feel they have no reward for their loyalty to the business.”
In a company-wide announcement seen by Grocery Gazette, Morrisons says it will “fully comply” with the new regulations and will be paying the new national living wage to all hourly-paid staff, regardless of age. The pay rise will come into effect from 3 April.
The update also saw Morrisons speaking of its policy of a “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” before revealing that – despite coming in near the bottom of the supermarket pay league – staff pay will not be reviewed again until October 2023.
Morrisons’ employees were previously on £10.20 per hour – a rate which was ‘market-leading’ when it was announced back in June 2022. Since then – and as the cost of living and inflation have continued to rise – a number of other supermarkets have boosted their hourly rates to more than £11 per hour, with Aldi paying as much £11.40 per hour nationally, and £12.85 within the M25.
Subscribe to Grocery Gazette for free
One of Grocery Gazette’s sources also revealed CEO David Potts recently sent out an email to staff, commenting on the positive Q1 results and referring to Morrisons’ staff as “the cornerstone of this improving picture”.
“Across the whole business, you have continued to help our customers by providing colourful, vibrant, fresh food shopping trips and I wanted to thank you all for everything you’re doing.”
However, the source remained unimpressed. “With the Government-enforced pay rise falling on minimum wage for many staff members, it doesn’t seem that Morrisons care too much to reward any loyalties with the business.
“Morrisons has stated its salary review is in October, but that’s no guarantee that the review will be a significant one either.
“We have been positioned to work hard for the next six months and simply hope that our salary review is substantial. It falls in October just before the busiest period of the year, so colleagues may struggle throughout the year and it’s going to add a lot of unnecessary worry.”
The update, sent from group people and corporate services director Clare Grainger, said the: “significant investment will ensure all colleagues, irrespective of age, move to a minimum of £10.42, and it will maintain the existing differentials for all hourly roles that are already paid above £10.42”.
This means that 22p per hour will be added to the base rate of pay for every role, a total investment of £30 million.
The move to ensure all staff benefitted from the rise was part of Morrisons’ “commitment to fairness and consistency”, and will affect more than 25,000 colleagues under the age of 23, or those already paid above national living wage.
Morrisons has said that the move is supported by retail trade union Usdaw, which it says is “supportive of the additional investment we are making in pay, outside of, and in addition to, the pay negotiation process”.
However Usdaw has said it is “disappointed” with the new minimum wage, as it means that “low-paid workers will not receive a minimum wage increase that will provide a wage they can live on”. It is calling for an increase to at least £12 per hour immediately.
Grocery Gazette has asked Morrisons for comment.