Marks & Spencer is raising staff pay for the second time this year and offering 4,500 staff a £250 voucher as part of a £15million package to help meet the rising cost of life.
The clothing, homeware and food retailer is also offering free food to workers in its warehouses in addition to that already provided to store staff, and both groups will have access to free sanitary products.
Workers will also be able to attend financial planning workshops and get advice on meal planning, while continuing to receive a 20% discount on M&S purchases.
The company said that as part of its first-ever pay review in the autumn, hourly pay for more than 40,000 employees would rise by 2% to a minimum of £10.20 an hour from 1 October, compared to £10 per hour introduced in April.
The deal will pay an extra £100 a month for a full-time customer assistant compared to October last year, when workers earned at least £9.50 an hour. The latest agreement contributes to an annual increase of 7.4%.
Stuart Machin, Managing Director of M&S, said: “Whether you run a home or a business, everyone across the country is feeling the pressure of rising costs. We want to do what we can to help relieve some of that tension.
The payment is the latest effort by companies to help workers cope with soaring inflation on household bills and essentials, from travel to food.
John Lewis is to offer free food to all its workers, including temporary staff, during its peak Christmas trading period, as well as a one-off £500 cost-of-living support payment for part-time workers full, prorated for part-timers. .
In July Aldi announced it was raising hourly pay for the second time in a year with a 40p rise to a low of £10.50 outside the M25 and £11.95 in London, a rise at least 3.5%.
Tesco and sandwich chain Pret a Manger have raised workers’ pay twice in the past year, while Asda raised pay to £10.10 an hour in July after unions l criticized for falling behind rival chains, with a rate of £9.66 introduced in April. .