Co-op colleague (1)

Frontline colleagues will receive a pay increase to at least £12 per hour, in line with the Real Living Wage, the Co-op has announced.

The move represents the convenience retailer’s biggest ever investment into pay with an increase of over 20 per cent in the last two years for frontline colleagues, further strengthening Co-op’s commitment to invest in its lowest paid employees.

From 1 April, the rate of pay for Co-op Customer Team Members will increase from £10.90 to £12 per hour, representing a 10.1% increase on last year and a 21% increase since March 2022.

For Co-op Customer Team Members working in London, the hourly rate will increase from £12.25 to £13.15. Co-op Team Leaders will also receive a 10.1% increase from £12.10 to £13.32 per hour.

Matt Hood, managing director of Co-op Food, said: “Our store colleagues are the heart of our member-owned business and we truly value their dedication and hard work. We’re proud to continue to be aligned to the Real Living Wage, which makes Co-op one of the top food retailers in terms of pay.

“Co-op continues to operate in challenging environments and volatile markets, some of which we have only recently stabilised. However, we believe this investment in our colleagues is of paramount importance to recognise their outstanding commitment to serving our Member-owners and shoppers in communities all across the UK.

“Additionally, we continue to offer a competitive package to all our colleagues compared to other retailers, including paid breaks, 30 percent own brand colleague discount and industry-leading leave policies.”

The new changes are part of Co-op’s wider commitment to support colleagues at Co-op. In 2022, Co-op introduced an enhanced fertility policy to support individuals, partners and surrogates receiving and recovering from the physical and psychological effects of fertility treatment. As well as introducing a dedicated menopause support guide for its managers to better support colleagues experiencing perimenopause and menopause.

Last year, the Co-op also introduced a new market-leading compassionate leave policy, providing greater flexibility for paid leave for bereavement and giving managers the discretion to make the right decisions for colleagues for up to 10 days paid leave.

Retail trade union Usdaw balloted members working for Co-op on the pay rise and they overwhelmingly accepted.

Usdaw national officer Jayne Allport said: “We are pleased to have negotiated this significant pay rise, which is a big help for our members struggling in the ongoing cost of living crisis and recognises their important contribution to the success of the business.”