Central Co-op announces investment in pay and valued benefits for colleagues

Posted by lauryn mellor | Published: 18/03/2024

Central Co-op is thrilled to announce significant investments in its colleagues by raising minimum pay to £12 an hour, alongside paid breaks and a suite of additional benefits aimed at enhancing colleague well-being and flexibility.

The pay increase, effective from 1st April, reflects Central Co-op's appreciation of the difference its colleagues make for Members, customers and each other. This rise equates to an additional £2,535 per annum for a full-time customer service assistant and is also in addition to paid breaks.

As well as the pay increase, Central Co-op provides a range of added benefits for its colleagues:

Annual health checks & virtual GP: Central Co-op understands the importance of maintaining good health and well-being. Therefore, all colleagues have access to free health checks, a virtual GP service, free counselling sessions and access to a nutritionist. Wellbeing champions, trained as mental health first aiders, provide additional support on all well-being benefits available for colleagues.

Workflex: Recognising the evolving needs of its colleagues, last year Central Co-op launched a flexible working trial called Workflex. This initiative allows colleagues to choose between a four-day week, a nine-day fortnight, or a combination of both, promoting a better work-life balance and prioritising employee well-being. After the success of the trial, the Society will be rolling out Workflex to all colleagues this year.

Colleague dividend: Central Co-op acknowledges the significant contribution its colleagues make to the success of the Society. As a token of appreciation, colleagues receive a share of the Society’s success via dividend payment each year. This is a real point of difference in the co-operative model.

Inclusion: Last year Central Co-op also launched policies on pregnancy loss, fertility treatment, menopause and trans awareness to ensure all colleagues feel included and supported when they need it most.

Colleague experience: Central Co-op colleagues can access the “Difference Maker Hub”, an online platform that allows easy access for everything colleagues need, including a careers centre, benefits centre, wellbeing centre, inclusion centre and exclusive discounts at hundreds of retail outlets. This further enhances the Society’s overall compensation package and strengthens its connection to the co-operative values.

Furthermore, Central Co-op is also looking into the introduction of a Wagestream trial for colleagues later this year, offering the flexibility to choose how and when they get paid and demonstrating Central Co-op’s ongoing commitment to innovation and financial well-being.

Sarah Dickins, Chief Member, Customer and People Officer at Central Co-op, comments: "Our purpose is to create a sustainable Society for all. At Central Co-op, we believe that our colleagues are our greatest asset, and we are thrilled to be investing into their overall package again this year, increasing base pay by over 24% over the last 2 years.

“Our colleagues are our difference makers and we're continuously listening to them to help us invest in the areas that matter. We’re always looking to enhance our colleague experience across career development, benefits, wellbeing and flexibility too. A huge thank you to all 7,500 of our colleagues for everything they do.”

Jayne Allport, National Officer at Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers), adds: "At Usdaw, we are thrilled that we were able to work with Central Co-op on its commitment to fair compensation and colleague well-being through a pay increase to £12 per hour, and strongly support the many other additional benefits Central Co-op provides. These initiatives exemplify the co-operative spirit and dedication to supporting its workforce."

Central Co-op's investments in pay and added benefits highlight its dedication to fostering a thriving and inclusive workplace culture where all employees can succeed and thrive.

For more information on Central Co-op's initiatives, visit centralcoop.co.uk or find out more on socials. To learn more about what it’s like to work at Central Co-op, visit careers.coop/.




For press information
Press Office

Lauryn Mellor, PR and Media Specialist at Central Co-op
07385 048004