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3,000 staff will be hit by Asda changes, says MP.

ASDA has been accused of shortchanging 3,000 supermarket staff under proposed changes to employee contracts that will see the end of paid breaks.

The supermarket confirmed last week that consultations were taking place to simplify terms for hourly paid workers and increase the basic rate of pay to PS9 per hour.

But Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, has claimed in a letter to Asda chief executive Roger Burnley that staff involved in the process were likely to be up to PS500 worse off per year.

The loss of paid breaks, an end to premium pay and shortening of night shifts would hit staff wages, Ms McDonagh said following a meeting with Asda senior director of public affairs Chris Lowe.

Approximately 2,700 staff will lose up to PS500 per year, with a further 300 harder hit, she claimed in the letter which she tweeted in full yesterday.

Ms McDonagh wrote: "For these staff, PS500+ is a huge amount of money and would have a significant impact on their livelihoods.

"I welcome any increase in basic hourly pay - but this must not be used to disguise a significant pay cut for 3,000 of your most longstanding staff."

The new contracts would increase the basic rate of pay from PS8.21 per hour for all retail employees, and would still include the benefits of an annual bonus, colleague discount, sharesave and pension.

However staff will be asked to work more flexible times such as on bank holidays while breaks would no longer be paid.

Ms McDonagh raised concerns over this flexibility and said that while some might welcome the change, others who may have care considerations may find the changes "extremely difficult".

The GMB union, which represents Asda employees, last week raised concerns over the plans to change contracts, calling for negotiations. Asda said the changes would bring it in line with industry standards.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 17, 2019
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