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Rolls-Royce is to give more than 14,000 staff a £2,000 payment to help them cope with the soaring cost of living, the first time the engineering firm has made such a move.
The one-off payment will go to shopfloor staff and junior management, who are mainly based at the company’s two biggest sites in Derby and Bristol. They represent 70% of Rolls-Royce’s UK workforce of about 20,000.
A Rolls-Royce spokesperson said the company was offering the majority of its UK staff a £2,000 cash lump sum “to help them through the current exceptional economic climate”. He said it was the first time the company has paid out a cash lump sum that is not linked to performance, but to the economic climate.
In the latest sign that the cost of living crisis is worsening, the data firm Kantar said on Tuesday that annual food bills will rise by £380 this year. Grocery price inflation jumped to 8.3% in the four weeks to 12 June.
Energy bills have soared in the UK, petrol and diesel prices have risen to record highs and the official inflation rate hit a 40-year high of 9% in April. The energy price cap could reach nearly £3,000 at the beginning of October, according to a new forecast from the research firm Cornwall Insight.
About 3,000 Rolls-Royce staff – mainly junior managers – will receive the cash lump sum in August, while the other 11,000 workers, who are represented by the Unite union, will receive it once it has been approved by the union. The company is also offering those 11,000 shopfloor workers a 4% pay rise, backdated to March. The average salary among them is £40,000 a year.
The spokesperson said: “In addition, we are offering our shopfloor staff the highest annual pay rise for at least a decade, backdated to March, and together these measures represent around a 9% pay increase for them.”
The junior managers already had a pay rise in March, an average of 2.5% in line with other managers at the company, and they are paid more than shopfloor workers.
Shopfloor workers who are not represented by the union also got an average 2.5% pay rise in March, but if the union accepts the 4% pay deal, Rolls-Royce will also increase the pay of non-unionised shopfloor staff by 1.5% so they get the same package.
Last week, it emerged that Lloyds Bank will give more than 64,000 staff a £1,000 one-off payment to help with rising living costs. The payment, due to be made in August, comes after a campaign by the Unite union.