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Fuel crisis: Petrol station giant EG Group gives 10,500 staff pay rises for ‘heroic’ work

·2-min read
Vehicles queue for fuel at a petrol station in west London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
Vehicles queue for fuel at a petrol station in west London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Petrol station giant EG Group has announced it will give 10,500 staff a pay rise in recognition of their "heroic" work.

The group owns over 350 petrol stations around the UK, as well as healthy fast food chain Leon and hundreds of KFC branches.

The company said on Thursday that all employees aged 18 or over will be paid at least £9.50 an hour, with hourly pay increasing by over 5% on average.

The announcement comes in the week petrol station managers around the country have reported facing anger, verbal abuse and even threats of physical violence from customers as tensions run high during the fuel crisis.

Fuel shortages are being seen nationwide. A lack of HGV drivers due to Brexit and a Covid-era driving test backlog led to stalling fuel supply chains, with shortages worsened by panic buying in recent days.

There have been long queues and pockets of aggression at petrol station forecourts.

Filling station owners, including EG Group, have imposed a £30 limit to ensure customers “have a fair chance to refuel”.

The company is owned by the billionaire Issa brothers, Zuber and Mohsin, and private equity firm TDR Capital.

In a statement announcing the pay rise, the brothers said: “Our colleagues have pulled out all the stops and been nothing short of heroic during often very difficult times since the start of the pandemic.

"We are grateful to each and every one of them for their contributions and are therefore making a total reward package available to them."

The raise is also being offered as companies spanning sectors as diverse as tech and hospitality raise wages in a bid to retain workers amid ongoing labour and skills shortages.

There are over 1 million job vacancies in the UK currently and in addition to raising pay firms have been offering packages including flexible working and increased autonomy to keep employees happy.

Restaurant group Itsu recently offered staff an 11% pay rise, while pizza chain Prezzo is also offering staff a similar 5-6% raise.

Reports of front-of-house staff being offered bonuses and 30% raises have become common.

It has been a busy year for EG Group.

Earlier this year the company purchased Leon, and just this week it revealed it had agreed a deal to buy 52 KFC restaurants in the UK, and making it the largest franchisee in Western Europe for the chain.

The move saw the company take on another 1,600 employees.

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