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NEXT Bonus PR Gesture

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NEXT Lord Wolfson Sharing £2.4m Bonus With Minority Of Staff Is “PR Gesture” Says GMB

GMB will campaign that NEXT should pay a living wage of £7.45 per hour - £8.55 in London - and hours of work that pay enough for people to live on.

GMB, the union for retail staff, commented on report that Lord Wolfson, Chief Executive of NEXT is giving his £2.4m bonus to staff. See notes to editors for report on page 34 of NEXT Annual Report. 

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary for Southern Region, said "PR gestures from Tory peer Lord Wolfson sharing £2.4m of his already sky high pay with some 35% of NEXT employees is no substitute for paying staff a living wage to all 55,000 staff.

Over 30,000 mainly young NEXT staff with less than 3 years’ service will get nothing. This is hardly fair. The other directors from their £4.6m bonus should make a similar gesture to help them.

A recent GMB report found vast majority of jobs NEXT currently offer are for 12 hours or less per week. See GMB release in notes to editors.

It is high time profitable employers like NEXT paid a living wage of £7.45 per hour - £8.55 in London and hours of work that pay enough for people to live on. GMB will continue to campaign for this at NEXT"

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for retail staff, added “NEXT CEO plans to share some of his "high roller" wages with his “breadline Britain” workforce.

NEXT staff do not need charity hand outs from Lord Wolfson or his board.

NEXT makes huge profits from clothing made in the third world. NEXT should employ workers in the UK on proper working hours and pay a living wage. NEXT should stop behaving like a “breadline Britain” company."

End

Contact: Paul Maloney 07801 343 839 or Kamaljeet Jandu 07956 237 178 or Mick Rix 07971 268 343 or Michelle Gordon 07866 369 259 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

1 NEXT Annual Report published 16th April 2013 – extract about the waiving of the bonus from page 34

Lord Wolfson has waived his potential entitlement under this SMP on the understanding that all NEXT employees who have been employed since January 2010 will share an equivalent amount by way of a special bonus in July 2013, pro rata to their annual salary.

The estimated value of the amount waived by Lord Wolfson (based on the methodology proposed by BIS) is £2.4m.

 The estimated total pre-tax value for other executive directors is £4.6m, of which £2.1m (46%) derives from the growth in NEXT’s share price since buying their SMP shares.

2 GMB press release of 27th March 2013 on NEXT vacancies

NEARLY 80% OF RETAILER NEXT JOB VACANCIES ARE 12 HOURS OR UNDER PER WEEK AND 94% PAY LESS THAN £144 PER WEEK THRESHOLD FOR EMPLOYERS TO PAY NATIONAL INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS

 

A new study by GMB, the union for retail staff, shows that 729 or nearly 80% of the 935 current job vacancies at NEXT in the UK and Ireland are for part time staff being offered 12 hours and under per week. Only 53 of the 935 total vacancies or 5.7% pay wages above the £144 per week threshold for employers to pay national insurance contributions. The majority of the jobs offer pay between £5.08 and £6.21 per hour. 55 of the jobs are for apprentices with no pay rates identified above the national minimum wage of £2.65 per hour.

Set out in the table below are the results of the study by region in the UK and Ireland. Set out at the foot of this release on the GMB website on www.gmb.org.uk  are 13 regional releases which details all the job vacancies in that region. See notes to editors for source of this data.

GMB has staged four demonstrations at NEXT for a living wage of £8.55 per hour in London and of £7.45 per hour in the rest of the country.

NEXT has recently reported gross profits of £1.12billion for the 12 months to Jan 2013. In the previous financial year Next made super profits of 17.5p per £ spent in the shops while average wages for staff are less than £9,571 per worker per year. In the same year

Lord Wolfson, the Tory peer who is the chief executive of NEXT in the same year received remuneration of £1.49m (£697,000 salary, £753,000 performance related bonus, £36,000 benefits). He also has 1,638,010 ordinary shares of 10p each. So far, after 17 years of pensionable service, has accrued an annual pension of £288,000, a transfer value of accrued annual pension being £3,911,000.

Next plc vacancies

 

 

 

 

Number of vacancies

12 hours and under

over 12 hours

various

North East

33

27

4

2

North West

126

110

10

6

Yorkshire & The Humber

92

64

24

4

East Midlands

68

53

15

0

West Midlands

91

62

19

10

Eastern

56

38

17

1

London

56

45

10

1

South East

130

98

22

10

South West

87

73

9

5

Wales

47

41

2

4

Scotland

92

74

12

6

Northern Ireland

31

23

5

3

Republic of Ireland

26

21

3

2

 

 

 

 

 

Total

935

729

152

54

 

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for the retail industry, said “GMB undertook this study after members employed by NEXT complained that no new contracts above 12 hours were to be issued to staff in future in their store.

Members complain that their working hours have been reduced. Some had to accept hours that are incompatible with their family circumstances, such as single mothers being unable to drop their children off at school or collect them. Some have had their working hours reduced from 16 hours, making them ineligible for tax credits.

Tory Peer Lord Wolfson is offering jobs people cannot live on.  94% of the job vacancies at NEXT pay below the £144 per week threshold for employers to pay national insurance contributions.

NEXT is leading the race to the bottom in the retail industry. Much of the merchandise they sell in the shops is sourced from badly paid workers in less developed parts of world. Now they are offering jobs to those selling this merchandise in the UK and Ireland with so few hours and such low pay that nobody can live on the earnings.

Retailers like NEXT and Amazon are anti-union employers. Consumers need to help these retail workers by insisting that profitable retailers offer a living wage of £8.55 per hour in London and of £7.45 per hour in the rest of the country and to offer enough hours per week to enable employees to earn enough to live on.”

End

Notes to editors:

1 Source of data on NEXT vacancies: http://careers.next.co.uk/index.aspx?link=catwalk

 

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