M&S confirms 950 jobs to be cut

Marks & Spencer has confirmed that 950 jobs are set to be cut as part of plans to reduce the size of its property, store management and head office teams.

A statement explained that the proposals would help move the company to “a leaner, faster retail management structure” as part of the 'Never The Same Again' programme to accelerate business transformation and become more resilient.

M&S retail, operations and property director Sacha Berendji said: “Through the crisis we have seen how we can work faster and more flexibly by empowering store teams and it’s essential that we embed that way of working - our priority now is to support all those affected through the consultation process and beyond.”

The retailer said it has started collective consultation with employee representatives and has set out plans to first offer voluntary redundancy to affected staff.

Already, 27,000 M&S employees - out of a total of 78,000 - have been furloughed under the government's scheme. The company has not stated yet whether it will accept or reject the chancellor's recent offer of a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed employee who resumes working.

The disclosure of permanent job cuts - even if they are not the same workers as those who have been furloughed - could make it difficult for M&S to accept the Treasury's bonus payments.

The heads of individual business units are apparently now examining their cost bases as part of the review indicated in May.

The company stated at that stage that "central support costs and headcount will be examined at all levels", while £1 billion of cash and cost-saving actions would be allied with "other changes, including a more streamlined support centre, changes to leadership structure and negotiations with landlords on commercial terms on lease contracts".

Those which do announce job cuts will disclose their plans at different points during the coming months.

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