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Tesco will axe Christmas bonuses for thousands of Irish staff this year

The grocery giant has decided to play the Grinch with its workers.

TESCO WILL DROP its annual Christmas bonus for thousands of Irish staff this year after blaming “competitive market conditions” for the move.

In recent years rank-and-file workers have received payouts worth about €250 each, but the embattled grocer has decided to axe its “share bonus scheme” this year for everyone except its longest-standing employees.

The system offered staff the choice of an annual bonus in either cash, company shares or a mixture of the two, but understands that thousands of staff who have joined the company in the last decade will be excluded from this year’s payment.

Workers were only given the notification over the past few days and the news hasn’t gone down well amid the huge sums paid to its top executives in recent months.

Some staff still in line for bonuses are said to be refusing the payments in protest over their colleagues being left out of the deal.

A Tesco Ireland spokeswoman said the company’s performance was reviewed each year before it made a decision on whether or not to pay bonuses.

Due to competitive market conditions and the performance of the Irish business, Tesco Ireland has made the decision to declare a 0% share bonus to colleagues this year,” she said. ”This effects (sic) all colleagues except for those who are covered by historic collective agreements.”

Tesco results Source: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

High returns for top execs

Meanwhile, Tesco’s latest annual report showed the retailer’s incoming CEO, Dave Lewis, was paid £4.1 million (€5.7 million) for his first six months at the company – the bulk of which was in share options.

The company’s former CEO, Philip Clarke, was entitled to a termination payment of £1.2 million (€1.67 million), on top of salary and benefits worth £764,000 (€1 million) for the six months he served in the job.

Clarke was at the helm of Tesco during the period in which it has since been revealed the company overstated its profits to the tune of £263 million.

Tesco recently introduced a bonus “clawback” rule for all its senior executives, including several of its top Irish bosses, which allows the company to recall cash payments up to three years after they have been paid if managers are found to have misstated financial results or hurt its reputation.

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Lewis Tesco CEO Dave Lewis Source: YouTube/Tesco PLC

Last month it announced its biggest-ever loss – a staggering £6.375 billion (€9.37 billion) last financial – thanks to a huge write-down of its Chinese assets. However, the company’s trading profit, which doesn’t include the paper charge, was still a healthy £1.39 billion.

Tesco doesn’t report profits for its Irish division, but its revenue for the territory last financial year took the greatest plunge of any region in which it operates.

The income figure was down 6.4% to €2.55 billion for the 12 months and it has unveiled plans to cut 90 night staff on top of job losses in its head office.

Grinch Animated GIF Source: Giphy

READ: Most of Ireland’s biggest companies aren’t Irish at all >

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About the author:

Peter Bodkin  / Editor, Fora

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