UK Supermarket Asda Offers Raises for Flexible Scheduling
Asda, the British supermarket owned by Wal-Mart, is offering staff in its stores a 14 percent rise in hourly pay if they sign a contract requiring more flexible work schedules. Britain's No. 3 supermarket said on Monday it will offer its 135,000 store staff a base rate of 8.50 pounds ($10.39) an hour from October, up from 7.44 pounds. The new rate is 1 pound above the government mandated National Living Wage increase which comes into effect April 1. The new contract will require Asda staff to work in different parts of stores and different days or hours, including public holidays.
Total Retail's Take: The issue of flexible scheduling in the retail industry isn't contained to the U.S., as this news is evidence to. Eight states have enacted legislation to prevent the practice of on-call scheduling by retailers, and several companies — including Gap, Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters, among others — have stopped using on-call scheduling. However, this news from Asda presents an interesting option: put the choice in employees’ hands. If they want more money, they can get it by making themselves subject to flexible scheduling. And if flexible scheduling doesn't work for an employee, they can simply opt against getting the raise. I think U.S. retailers might want to consider taking a page from this U.K. brand's playbook.