Morrisons (MRW.L) have told staff to expect a bonus of over £1,000 as a thank you for working during the coronavirus pandemic.
The supermarket pledged to triple their annual bonuses meaning employees across the front line of its supermarkets will receive a 6% bonus on their earnings over the next 12 months.
The increased bonus represents an extra £1,050 a year for full-time members of staff. It will be paid in quarterly instalments, the company said.
Employees who are off sick or self-isolating due to the coronavirus will also receive the handout, Morrisons said.
New workers who have been hired in recent weeks to help deal with an increase in demand fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic will also be included in the scheme.
Clare Grainger, group people director at Morrisons, said: “Our highly valued colleagues have stood tall amidst the coronavirus pandemic, playing their full part in feeding the nation.
“We want to thank every single one of them for their continued hard work during these unprecedented times by paying a much higher guaranteed bonus for the whole year in recognition of their effort.”
A record £10.8bn ($13bn) was spent on groceries in the UK in March, as coronavirus fears drove people to stock up.
Grocery sales in the UK rose by 20.6% over the last four weeks, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel. The unusually large growth makes March the biggest month on record for grocery sales.
Sales jumped 7.4% at Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), making it the best performer of the “big four” supermarkets. Tesco (TSCO.L) sales went up 5.5%, Asda (WMT) sales grew at 4.9% and Morrisons saw a 4.6% increase.
Sales at Iceland jumped by 11.7% as people looked to stock up their freezers and sales at online supermarket Ocado (OCDO.L) surged 12.5%. Ocado was recently forced to suspend new orders due to surging demand.
Supermarkets were forced to introduce limits on baskets after shortages of items like toilet paper and soap were reported across the country. By the time prime minister Boris Johnson ordered the population to stay at home at the start of last week, pictures of empty shelves in supermarkets across the country were commonplace on social media.
Experts say that more food was bought last month than over Christmas, and supermarkets were not able to prepare beforehand as they can before December’s rush.
It has prompted several supermarkets to boost hiring and promise financial rewards for staff.
Ocado said that staff will be given a 10% bonus on all hours they work from 23 March “while the crisis continues”.
Aldi, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have all echoed the 10% pledge. Asda has promised an extra week’s pay in June.
Marks & Spencer said workers would receive an extra 15% pay.
Morrisons said: “Because it will be a percentage of the entire year’s pay, frontline colleagues at Morrisons will see the largest special bonus of those announced over the last few weeks in the supermarket sector.”
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