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a blog by Chris Barrow

Sainsbury increase staff pay for the third time in 12 months

The supermarket's 127,000 hourly workers will now be on £11 an hour from February. The retail giant, which runs almost 600 supermarkets and more than 800 convenience stores, revealed that the pay increase will cost the firm around £185 million in investment.

The move, which represents a 10% increase year-on-year, comes as UK retailers seek to attract talent amid a tight labour market and pressure on household finances. The increase comes on top of a £20 million investment in October, in its previous pay increase for workers.

Manchester Evening News - 4th January 2023

No doubt this will give rise to another round of the dental staff room mantra "I could get more than this stacking shelves......"

That may well be true in some medieval corners of NHS dentistry but it's worth reminding ourselves that basic pay in most dental teams has risen BY MORE (I'm measuring around 14% year on year across all salaried/hourly rate positions and across most postcodes) and TO MORE (I'm regularly seeing dental nursing jobs advertised at £13-£15 an hour for qualified).

Frankly, if you could get more stacking shelves - either you are in the wrong practice or you should be.

Back at work for three days (freelancers rarely take Bank Holidays) and the only trend I'm noticing is team members who have clearly exercised a New Year's Resolution based on the song "When the going gets tough, the tough get going" but have misinterpreted the spirit of the ditty by buggering off - I've heard of quite a few resignations this week.

Money is the predominant driving force - no big surprise - (a tight labour market and pressure on household finances) - although I'll suggest that it's that much easier to move on if the pay is below average AND the working conditions and leadership are lacking in attraction.

Imagine investing (another) £185 million in locking your team in. Do you think Sainsbos are going to swallow that cost or pass it on to the consumer?

Sorry for the repetition (it's from a place of love):

  • Review your pay;

  • Review your prices;

  • Review the wellbeing of your team;

  • Review the patient experience.

Don't miss the boat.

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