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Poundland boss hands 'hero' workers extra week of holiday as reward for efforts during Covid-19 crisis

A branch of Poundland has been replaced: REUTERS
A branch of Poundland has been replaced: REUTERS

Budget retailer Poundland will give employees an extra week of paid holiday as a mark of gratitude for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the move in a video posted online earlier this month, managing director Barry Williams said the chain was also doubling staff discounts and would keep stores closed on Boxing Day and New Year's Day, so that workers can enjoy more family time.

"It really is important that we thank them for everything they're doing for us," he said.

"They really are the heroes of our business."

Of Poundland's 800 branches nationwide, 700 have kept their doors open to the public amid the Covid-19 crisis, with the chain classified as an essential retailer.

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The company has brought in a series of measures to protect staff while they work - including installing perspex screens at checkouts and limiting the numbers of customers in store to keep up social distancing among shoppers.

Staff have also been given provided with hand sanitiser and reassured that restocking will only take place when shop doors are closed.

The move to reward its employees come after Poundland announced at the beginning of April that it was closing 100 stores due to reduced footfall after the government declared a nationwide lockdown and directed people to stay at home, barring for essential travel, shopping or exercise.

Some staff at affected stores were expected to be moved to other nearby outlets that have remained open.

The company outlined at the time that the closures would allow it to "provide better service to communities" and put itself in a better position to recover once the current measures put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19 are eased.

Poundland indicated that where it was not possible to transfer a member of staff, the retailer would follow furlough workers.

The chain is often relied upon by those who cannot afford to bulk buy.

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