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Cath Everett

Sift Media

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

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News: M&S staff up in arms as bonuses cut by two thirds


Workers at Marks & Spencer held angry meetings yesterday after being told that they could see their bonuses slashed by up to two thirds following a fall in profitability.

The situation is unlikely to be helped by the fact that, despite the high street retailer’s reputation for fair pay and treatment, its Dutch chief executive, Marc Bolland, is in line for pay, bonuses and other perks of more than £4 million.
One staff member told the Daily Mail: “I have been full-time for 10 years, but we have been told our bonus will be just £100. That compares to a normal figure of £300-350. We held a meeting and people went mad about what they see as very shabby treatment.”
Bonuses are discretionary and based on business performance, but M&S saw its pre-tax profits fall 1% to £705.9 million in the year to March 31, on sales that dropped by 1.8% to £9.9 billion. As a result, the maximum bonus for full-time employees has been cut from £350 to £100 and for part-timers from £140 to £50.
But Steve Rowe, M&S’ retail director, said that the fact that staff were getting any bonus at all in tough economic times should be seen as good news. “We’re delighted to be able to pay a discretionary bonus this year in light of our store teams’ hard work over the last 12 months,” he pointed out.
But the retailer’s senior managers are expected to face a rough ride over both the company’s performance and their renumeration at its summer annual general meeting.
The situation was brought into light relief by Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke’s decision yesterday to give up his £372,000 bonus after the supermarket chain’s key UK business performed below expectations. It means that his total renumeration will nearly halve to £1.16 million for the year to February.
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Cath Everett

Freelance journalist and former editor of HRZone

Read more from Cath Everett

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