Employee Relations

Asda’s new business plan puts 5,000 jobs at risk

If the proposals are enacted, the company said its priority will be to move ‘as many colleagues as possible’ into alternative roles, with redundancy being ‘the last option’

Asda has announced it will transform parts of its business to focus more on online, putting 5,000 jobs at risk.

To support the increasing number of customers who are choosing to shop online, the supermarket revealed it intends to expand its “in store pick” model by creating 4,500 new roles in store-based online operations across the country.

The business stated it will enter formal consultations with around 5,000 colleagues potentially impacted by the proposals out of a total workforce of 145,000.

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As part of the restructuring, Asda said it has proposed the closure of the Dartford and Heston home shopping centres, impacting 800 colleagues.

Additionally, the supermarket revealed it has proposed the realignment of some store-level management roles, with deputy store manager and section leader roles replaced by two new roles – operations manager and online trading manager.

These proposals would reportedly impact roughly 1,100 colleagues and if enacted would see an overall increase in headcount in store-level management roles across the business.

Furthermore, the proposed simplified way of working across back office store functions with cash office, administration, people and training tasks proposed to be completed by one “multi-skilled’ back office colleague, could impact circa 3,000 colleagues.

If the proposals are enacted, the company said its priority will be to move “as many colleagues as possible” into alternative roles within Asda, with redundancy being “the last option”.

Roger Burnley, CEO and president, Asda said: “As customer habits continue to change we have to evolve our business to meet these demands and ensure our business is strong and sustainable for the long term.

“Our plans to transform the business will result in more roles being created than those we propose to remove and our absolute aim is to ensure as many colleagues as possible stay with us, as well as creating the opportunity to welcome new people to our business.”

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