AGM update: pay gap

What we've done about closing the employee pay gap since the last AGM.

Last year, our members approved the following motion put forward by over 100 members:

This AGM notes that executive pay has increased significantly in the UK, whilst pay at the bottom for the lowest paid has largely stagnated. Co-operatives should be operating on a different basis that is more ethical and reflects greater equity within the workforce.

The Co-operative Group as a leading co-op in the UK should be setting the benchmarks which other co-operatives could adopt where appropriate. This ethical approach to pay ratios would be good business and make good co-operative sense reflecting our concern to ensure that our staff are fairly remunerated so as to keep delivering the business performance our society needs if we are to remain the public’s convenience retailer of choice. We call upon the Board to review the current pay ratio from top to bottom and to set a strategy to narrow the differential to an appropriate level as reflects our co-operative principles and ethical approach to business, including progress towards a real living monthly wage for the lowest paid staff. We ask the Board to report on progress to the AGM in 2018.

Our Remuneration Committee and Board regularly discuss how we treat and pay our colleagues across our Co-op for the great job they do. We continue to pay above National Living Wage (NLW) and apply our rates to all colleagues. Unlike many other employers, we have chosen not to reduce rates for younger colleagues or Apprentices. We have also agreed to invest an additional £4m for our colleagues working in food stores and funeral homes in 2018.

This means we have increased hourly pay rates for our Customer Team Members by 6.1% in 2018 so their pay now starts at £8.02 per hour and rises to £8.18 per hour plus an extra £0.70 for colleagues based in London.

Last year we shared our pay ratio based on target earnings rather than actual. This is what we expect to be paid rather than what is actually paid. This approach makes sense to us and will make it easier for members to compare year on year to see how we are progressing with lowering the ratio. The Government are due to publish new regulations that require us to report on the ratio of pay between the company chief executive and their average UK worker. As a result we may have to change the way we report next year to meet the regulations.

Download the full You said, we did document for more information.