Page last updated at 14:57 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 15:57 UK

M&S reviews redundancy benefits

M&S store exterior
The firm says its scheme will still be superior to those of rivals

Marks & Spencer is in talks with staff representatives about changing benefits surrounding redundancy for UK workers.

The firm is talking to its Business Involvement Group over the move, which could cut payouts from 70 weeks to 52 weeks depending on length of service.

M&S, which has 70,000 UK staff, wants to introduce the changes by the beginning of September.

It has not reviewed redundancy benefits since 2006 and says new terms would remain more generous than competitors.

'Fearful'

However the GMB union has expressed fears that a redrawing of the redundancy packages could be a forerunner of job cuts.

Its general secretary Paul Kenny said: “GMB is fearful that job cuts are on the way at M&S.

"Why else would they cut an existing policy if they do not intend to use it?"

The High Street retailer halved staff bonuses in May despite reporting a 4.3% rise in annual profits to £1bn.

At the time it also said it was cautious about its prospects for the next 12 months.



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