Tesco workers given Quality Street chocolates instead of Christmas bonus

A staff member accused the supermarket of "penny-pinching".

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - 21st March 2011: Front entrance sign of a Tesco Superstore supermarket at the Hermiston Gait Retail Park in Edinburgh. Tesco divide their UK stores into six categories, with superstores such as this one being classed as a large supermarket.
Tesco workers did not receive a Christmas bonus. (Getty)

Tesco workers did not receive a Christmas bonus in December but were handed Quality Street chocolates instead, according to a report.

A staff member working for UK’s biggest supermarket revealed they did not get a cash bonus for the second year running, blaming “penny-pinching”, according to the Guardian.

They claimed their boss handed them a tub of Quality Street instead, costing around £5.

The staff member said: "They’re certainly penny-pinching and trying to drive costs down."

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A tin of Nestle Quality Street chocolates. (Photo by Martin Keene/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Tesco worker was given Quality Street chocolates. (Getty)

Tesco has defended itself, adding it had never given out regular Christmas bonuses and had also offered staff increased discounts of 20% during the festive period.

Tesco previously gave out a 10% Christmas bonus and shopping vouchers to staff in 2020.

But the supermarket said in its annual report that an agreement had been made with unions in 2019 that regular bonuses would be replaced by higher basic pay.

Tesco staff currently receive a minimum of £10.30 per hour after the supermarket increased its base level pay by 8% last year as the cost of living crisis impacted the UK.

The firm also gave staff bonuses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when they risked their lives by coming to work.

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It comes as Tesco is set to reveal positive sales data for over the quarter to the end of November in its latest update on Thursday.

Equity analyst firm Jefferies said it expects the update to show UK like-for-like growth of 4% over the third quarter and an increase of about 5.5% for the six weeks to 8 January, covering Christmas and New Year.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We have never given a regular cash bonus at Christmas and it is wrong to suggest that we have replaced one with chocolates.

“To help colleagues with their Christmas shopping this year, we doubled our colleague discount to 20% in the run-up to Christmas – one of many benefits available to our colleagues, on top of the near 8% increase in base pay we invested over last year.”