Asda contract changes ‘extremely difficult’ for workers

Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda has been accused of short-changing 3,000 staff under proposed changes to employee contracts that will see the end of paid breaks.

Asda's headquarters in Leeds

The supermarket confirmed last week that consultations were taking place to simplify terms for hourly paid workers and increase the basic rate of pay to £9 per hour.

But Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, has claimed in a letter to Asda chief executive Roger Burnley that staff involved in the process were likely to be up to £500 worse off per year. The loss of paid breaks, an end to premium pay and shortening of night shifts would hit staff wages, Ms McDonagh said.

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Under the plan, the basic rate of pay would increase from £8.21 per hour for all retail employees, and include the benefits of an annual bonus, colleague discount, sharesave and pension. However staff will be asked to work more flexible times such as on bank holidays while breaks would no longer be paid.

Ms McDonagh said some staff who may have care considerations may find the changes “extremely difficult”.

Asda said the changes would bring it in line with industry standards.

Senior vice president for operations, Anthony Hemmerdinger, said: “As our customers continue to change the way they shop with us, we also have to be prepared to change to meet their needs.”