Lorry drivers at John Lewis and Waitrose have received pay raises of up to £5k due to a nationwide shortage.
Drivers for John Lewis and Waitrose will receive a £5,000 pay increase in the goal of attracting additional drivers amid a nationwide shortage.
The John Lewis Partnership has announced that it will increase the pay of its lorry drivers by up to £5,000, as the industry continues to be plagued by labor shortages. The company, which owns John Lewis department stores and Waitrose supermarkets, announced that yearly salary increases will begin on Sunday.
Across all of John Lewis and Waitrose’s regional and national distribution sites, over 900 large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers will receive a salary increase of around £2 an hour in their base pay.
The raise is intended to ensure that the shop can continue to hire drivers at “market competitive rates.”
“There has never been a better time to get behind the wheel for Waitrose and John Lewis,” said Mark Robinson, the partnership’s director of supply chain.
“We are immediately responding to the national driver shortage by ensuring that our drivers are paid fairly and investing in future training.
“With these adjustments, we will be able to continue to provide excellent service to our consumers and deliver the products they require.”
In addition to the wage increase, new drivers with C+E licenses who join before November will receive a £1,000 “welcome payment.”
It comes after competitors such as Tesco offered incentives such as £2,000 start-up bonuses to attract new drivers.
This has resulted in a vigorous competition for available drivers, with some being poached by companies willing to offer higher rates.
The Road Haulage Association stated earlier this month that it estimates there is a lack of roughly 100,000 drivers in the industry as a result of EU worker regulations and the NHS Covid app telling drivers to quarantine.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced earlier this month a consultation to reduce driver qualification standards as part of a package of measures aimed at addressing the problem.
He also announced a temporary increase in the working hours of lorry drivers from nine to ten hours a day, however the decision was met with opposition from labor unions.