More than 300,000 employees at Tesco will be allowed flexible working rights a year ahead of schedule under new rules being implemented by the supermarket chain.
Tesco officials cite giving colleagues better work-life balance now as the reason for moving up the scheme.
“We think giving people the right to start a conversation about flexible working from their first day, or even before they start work for Tesco, is the right thing to do to,” James Goodman, Tesco UK People Director, says. “We aim to create a positive culture at Tesco where managers will do as much as they can to facilitate these requests for flexibility.”
According to the UK government and under provisions of the Flexible Working Bill and a 2019 Manifesto, the arrangement will give colleagues the opportunity to adjust work hours such as start and finish times and the ability to work remotely if conditions allow.
Tesco is not only granting this permission to those on the floor of its supermarkets but also into its corporate offices. In advertising for new positions, Tesco says it will be offering that flexibility where it can, including those who are part time.
Mel Gutteridge, a store manager at the Tesco Express in Seaford, East Sussex, says her current job flexibility has been a bonus, allowing her to spend at home with her two children and her partner. Remote work also can cut down on time spent traveling as well as associated costs for petrol.
“For me flexibility has allowed me to progress and work my way up to store manager while navigating family life,” she says. “By working part-time, I can find the right balance between time spent at home with my family and time spent on my personal development and career progression.”
Tesco is the lone major UK grocer to offer colleagues a guaranteed minimum of 16 hours per week to new recruits (except for those in some Express stores. They receive at least 12) as well as “working hours if they work regular overtime.”
In addition, Tesco is helping ensure employees success and over wellbeing by:
- Allowing unlimited appointments with a virtual GP, seven days a week to manage health.
- Expanding its Employee Assistance Programme, including access to sleep therapists, nutritionists, counsellors, exercise coaches and physiotherapists.
- Pay Advances, in which colleagues can get as much as 25% of their contractual pay early.