Thousands of jobs at risk at supermarket chain with stores across Sheffield

Thousands of workers face an uncertain future at Sainsbury's as part of a restructure designed to save £500 million.

Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 8:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 8:40 am

The supermarket chain - which has about 20 stores across Sheffield - is cutting costs over the next three years with employees potentially facing redundancy or demotion.

Sainsbury's has not yet confirmed the number of staff affected by the move or the locations but accepted said it was "in the thousands."

It is understood the plans involve scrapping manager positions which will be replaced by fewer, but mostly better paid, new management roles in each store.

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Employees reportedly have the choice of either applying for these new roles or accepting a more junior position if unsuccessful. Otherwise they face redundancy.

The company however stressed that the intention is to retain the overall headcount of the workforce and described the proposal as a 'restructure' rather than a mass cut to staff numbers.

Simon Roberts, retail and operations director for Sainsbury's, said: "We're proposing a store management structure that will deliver best in class leadership and, in many cases, will offer an improved reward package for new management roles.

"The proposals will introduce a more efficient and effective structure, designed to meet the challenges of today's retail environment. They will deliver cost savings to be invested in our customer offer and in our colleagues as they continue to provide the very best service for our customers.

"Our intention is not to reduce overall headcount as a result of these proposals.

"I appreciate this will be a difficult time for those affected and we will fully support our people through these changes."

The announcement was made yesterday just 24 hours after Tesco revealed it was cutting 1, 700 shop floor management jobs.

The UK’s largest supermarket is removing all people managers and compliance managers from its larger stores and fulfilment centres as well as removing its customer experience managers as part of the plan.

Matt Davies, chief executive of Tesco in the UK and Ireland, said: "These changes remove complexity and will deliver a simpler, more helpful experience for colleagues and customers. We recognise these are difficult changes to make but they are necessary to ensure our business remains competitive and set up for the future."