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UK's John Lewis to recruit 10,000 Christmas staff, with free meals bonus

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Branding for John Lewis is seen on its store in London

LONDON (Reuters) - John Lewis said it would recruit 10,000 Christmas staff for its department stores, Waitrose supermarkets and online operations, adding that all its workers would receive free meals in the period to help with the rising cost of living.

The British retailer, which is owned by its employees, said it would offer 4,000 seasonal roles in its 331 Waitrose shops, 2,000 in its 34 John Lewis stores, and 4,000 in its supply chain through recruitment agencies.

Britain's labour market has been tight since the end of the pandemic, with unemployment levels close to half-century lows despite the Bank of England warning that the economy is likely to slip into recession later this year.

Employers have had to raise wages to attract and retain staff, but workers are increasingly feeling the pinch from inflation that has hit double-digits, with further rises forecast.

John Lewis said it would offer free food to all its permanent and temporary workers from Oct. 3 to Jan. 6, while on shift, to help with the cost of living.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by William James)