Pret a Manger staff are reportedly considering strike action after the temporary reduction in pay they suffered during the lockdown period was going to be made permanent.
According to The Guardian, staff were told the reductions that were first installed last year, including not being paid for breaks and service bonuses being reduced from £1 to 50p were to be made permanent despite the removal of trading restrictions.
The paper said the move would see staff members who work an 8-hour shift and take the legally required 30 minute break and receive the new service bonus regularly would experience an 11% pay cut compared to pre-pandemic levels.
It is thought that staff could mobilise to take action as early as next month.
Pret told the paper that the decision had been taken due to the pandemic continuing to have a “big impact on its business”.
A Pret spokesperson told the Guardian: “The business is still trading significantly below pre-pandemic levels, but we continue to review our benefits. This is in no way a reflection of the hard work of our teams, and we’re incredibly grateful for their dedication and commitment.
“It’s important to us that we always communicate openly and honestly with our team members, which we’ll continue to do over the coming months.”
The company, which was acquired by JAB holdings in a £1.5bn deal in 2018, has been hit hard by the pandemic, and despite an £185m cash injection from its owners, was forced to close 27 of its stores and reduce its workforce by 3,400 last year.