Our approach to Reward

At Tesco, we have 360,000 colleagues worldwide, including 300,000 in the UK. All our colleagues serve customers in a variety of roles and all using different skills and expertise.

For every role in the business, we apply the same principles of Reward. These are applied across our whole reward package, which includes a number of benefits as well as the basic rate of pay. 

Always investing in our colleagues

We have a very strong track record of making substantial investments in pay, and since July 2014 our basic hourly rate in UK stores has increased by 29.2% from £7.39 to £9.55. The most recent increase in our 2021 pay award of 2.7% was above inflation and in line with the market.

We believe that we are positioned very competitively for both basic pay and total reward; and our colleagues have a very positive view of their reward package. In our 2021 colleague engagement survey, around 70% of colleagues agreed with the statement that total reward is competitive versus similar jobs elsewhere. This is ahead of external benchmarks. 

Competitive pay combined with unique Tesco benefits

We feel a duty of care to provide our colleagues with a balanced benefits package that supports their different needs. Across every one of our markets we offer a competitive package of rewards and benefits. Benefits available to colleagues in our UK business include:

A competitive pension

We offer a retirement savings plan for all our colleagues. As well as savings for retirement, the plan also provides valuable life cover for every member. The retirement savings plan is managed by Legal & General. Tesco has also set up a Governance Committee to provide robust oversight and ensure the plan meets the needs of our colleagues. At retirement, members are able to choose how to take their savings, in a way that suits them.

Colleague discount

After three months of service, colleagues receive a discount card for themselves and a second card for a family member. The benefits, currently enjoyed by 97% of colleagues, include:

Premium payments

Tesco is one of few retailers to continue to offer premium payments for Sunday and bank holiday shifts. For night shifts, the premium payment was recently increased to an additional £2.30 per hour.

Buy As You Earn

The Buy As You Earn scheme is an opportunity for colleagues to buy Tesco shares on a regular basis, from their gross salary. There is total flexibility to start, stop and change the amount of salary used to buy shares at any time.

Save As You Earn

Save As You Earn (SAYE) is our Tesco share savings scheme that gives colleagues the opportunity to save direct from their pay for three or five years. Once they have finished saving, they can choose to buy Tesco shares at a discounted Option Price or get their savings back.

It’s our longest running share scheme with thousands of colleagues participating for nearly 40 years.

Cycle to Work scheme

The Cycle to Work scheme is a salary sacrifice scheme, designed to encourage healthier and greener journeys to work by providing access to bikes and safety accessories as a tax-free benefit. It is a government supported initiative.

Employee Assistance Programme

Every colleague in the UK has access to our free, confidential Employee Assistance Programme. Services include:

  • Mental health experts
  • Structured clinical counselling (available in a language of your choice)
  • Financial information
  • Legal information
  • Career and life coaching
  • Bereavement counselling

Financial Wellbeing

Our Financial Wellbeing Hub contains tips and tools to help colleagues manage their finances. It shares information on how to make the most of your money, borrow responsibly and find the best options for you and get help identifying your savings goals and discover ways to help you achieve them.

Headspace and SilverCloud

Since April 2020, Tesco colleagues have had free access to Headspace and Silvercloud to support them in their mental wellbeing.

Since then we’ve collectively spent over 4 million minutes doing mindful activities through the Headspace app.

SilverCloud gives colleagues access to a number of programmes, offering the skills and techniques to maintain mental wellbeing, helping people feel better and, more importantly, stay better.

Engaging with our Unions

Our reward package is extensively discussed and negotiated with our unions and colleague representatives.

We have full recognition and collective bargaining agreements in place with USDAW, Unite and URTU for all our hourly-paid colleagues across the UK. Our robust process for engagement ensures that colleagues and union representatives are involved throughout the process and are consulted before any decisions on reward are finalised.

We listen to our colleagues and union representatives and make changes based on their feedback. For example, our store colleagues told us they wanted Tesco to invest in a higher and consistent base salary rather than bonuses that are based on performance and not guaranteed. This was implemented in 2019, with an hourly-rates increase by 10.45% over two years.

COVID-19 – an exceptional year

We are very grateful to our colleagues for their hard work and dedication during COVID-19. In recognition of their extraordinary efforts, we awarded three bonuses throughout the 2020/21.

As part of this, we invested over £130m to award two 10% bonus payments for colleagues across our stores, distribution centres and customer engagement centres – one in Spring during the first wave of the pandemic and the second over Christmas.  We paid a further thank you payment to frontline colleagues, equivalent to 2% of annual earnings, at the end of the financial year.

We also supported colleagues through COVID-19 with a range of measures to support their health and wellbeing. Further details can be found here.