Future of Work

Sainsbury’s has said it will cut up to 2,000 jobs from its human resources staff as part of plans to reduce costs. The UK’s second biggest supermarket chain says the “difficult decision” will affect roles in stores, as well as in the company’s central offices.

It plans to make 1,400 payroll and HR clerks redundant and other changes could see another 600 posts removed. Sainsbury’s is looking to save £500m amid fierce competition from discounters and rising food costs.

The majority of the headcount losses will be from within its supermarket stores.

The 600 roles on which the group is consulting are predominantly HR roles across the supermarket chain, its newly acquired Argos chain, as well as Sainsbury’s bank.

Sainsbury’s also owns Habitat, and employs nearly 200,000 people in total.

It said it would offer affected staff alternative roles wherever possible, or redundancy packages.

Shopworkers union Usdaw said it would support Sainsbury’s staff and look at the company’s business case for the plans.

Sainsbury’s said last November it aimed to reduce its running costs by £500m within three years. Earlier this year, in March, it said it would cut 400 jobs.

Its biggest rival Tesco is also shrinking its headcount. Tesco said in June that it would cut 1,200 jobs from its head office, just days after revealing that more than a thousand jobs were going at its Cardiff call centre.

All the big established grocers are juggling rising costs and increased competition from the discounters.

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