Waitrose offering lorry drivers same salary as some its head office executives

London Colney, UK - JUNE 28, 2018: Lorry belonging to the British Waitrose Supermakret in motion on the motorwey M25
London Colney, UK - JUNE 28, 2018: Lorry belonging to the British Waitrose Supermakret in motion on the motorwey M25

Waitrose is offering lorry drivers the same salaries as senior executives after a national shortage caused widespread supply chain issues across the UK.

The supermarket told Yahoo News it is prepared to pay Large Good Vehicle (LGV) drivers an average salary of £45,000 for a 45 to 48 hour week.

It comes as the same salary for roles like a senior SEO executive in London, which is currently being advertised for up to £45,000.

A specific shift pattern in Bracknell will even be paid £53,780 a year, which would be higher than senior executive roles, a pension specialist and a finance analyst roles at Waitrose.

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In a statement, Waitrose said: "The salary increases - which follow a review of LGV driver rates in the Partnership - are designed to ensure that both retailers can continue to recruit LGV drivers at market competitive rates."

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The disruption was among several factors that has led to a shortage in lorry drivers, causing delays to supermarket deliveries with photos showing empty shelves in stores across the UK.

James Clifford, CEO of HGVT said: "With over 100,000 HGV vacancies in the UK companies are desperate to keep hold of their existing drivers or try to entice drivers to work for them.

"Wages have gone up dramatically, in some case 50% in the last 12 months."

He added that drivers can also expect more holiday days, better working conditions, a uniform allowance, food allowance and improved pension contributions.

"The bottom line is that companies are doing whatever they can to obtain and keep hold of drivers.

"HGV drivers are a scarce resource in the UK and with a government devoid of workable ideas on how to ease the problem, the shortage is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.”

Waitrose said that 900 drivers already employed by the supermarket will benefit from the up to £5,000 pay increase.

Meanwhile, new drivers will get a £1,000 joining bonus as it tackles the staff shortages.

In a statement, Mark Robinson, Director of Supply Chain for the John Lewis Partnership, said: “There’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel for Waitrose and John Lewis.

"We’re responding quickly to the national driver shortage by ensuring our drivers are paid competitively and by investing in training for the future.

“These changes will mean that we can continue to serve our customers well and get them the products they need.”

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