Supermarket giant Tesco has announced it is reducing the number of management roles in stores in a bid to cut up to £1.5bn of costs – putting as many as 1,700 jobs at risk.
The company said it will remove ‘people managers’ – those who handle recruitment and other HR matters – health and safety compliance managers and customer experience managers.
The responsibilities will be moved to 900 new roles which will cover human resources across Tesco’s stores and distribution network.
This new wave of job losses are part of a wider plan to cut £1.5bn from Tesco’s costs, and comes after 1,200 jobs in their head office were cut last year. Tesco’s Cardiff call centre is also set to close this month with a loss of 1,100 jobs.
Tesco’s UK and Ireland chief executive Matt Davies said of the latest job cuts:
These changes remove complexity and will deliver a simpler, more helpful experience for colleagues and customers. We recognise these are difficult changes to make, but they are necessary to ensure our business remains competitive and set up for the future.
We hope to retain as many colleagues as possible in the new roles we have created and in the vacancies we currently have available.
Responding to the news, Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) national officer Pauline Foulkes said:
This is a further upheaval for Tesco managers and we will be entering into individual consultation with the company on behalf of Usdaw members who are affected by these changes.
We are providing Usdaw members with the support, advice and representation they require through this process. Our priorities are to minimise redundancies and help our members stay employed in a suitable role within the business if they choose to do so.
Tesco’s latest round of job cuts comes as supermarket chains are being forced to reevaluate their business models due to aggressive competition from ‘budget’ stores like Aldi and Lidi, as well as a general shift to online shopping and smaller local stores.
Costs are also due to rise as the national living wage increases in April 2018 to £7.83 per hour, on top of changes to business rates and the apprenticeship levy.