Next pledges 5% pay rise for employees

Retailer Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson has pledged to give shopfloor staff a pay rise of at least 5%, offering to share his bonus among employees should there be a funding shortfall.

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Next is to fund a pay increase for its 20,000 store staff by October 2015 from rising sales and by cutting costs. The rise will take the hourly wage rate from £6.70 to £7.04, or £7.58 including bonuses.

The retailer’s annual report showed Wolfson was paid £4.66 million in wages and shares last year, including a £1.1 million bonus. This compared with a £4.65 million package in 2013.

In a letter sent to Next employees on 14 April, Lord Wolfson said: “We will again increase standard entry level wages by at least 5% in our annual October wage review.

“However, in the event there is a shortfall in funding, I have agreed with the board that any bonus I might be due in the year ahead will be used to help fill the gap.

“Spread across so many people, my future bonus might not amount to a great deal per head, but I hope at least it will convince you of Next’s sincerity.”

Wolfson also stated that the retailer increased store entry-level hourly rates by at least 6% last year.