Renowned Supermarket group Asda is offering staff a higher wage if they accept a new contract, which includes unpaid breaks and a requirement to work over Bank Holidays.

While the National Minimum Wage is due to increase as of April to £7.50, Asda is set to surpass this and pay workers £8.50 per hour under the proposed contract.

The contract, which has been given the ‘seal of approval’ by the GMB union, means that employees must work bank holidays if required, all breaks will be unpaid, and the night shift window will be altered.

The Living Wage foundation, which campaigns for pay levels to match the cost of living, commends Asda for increasing their pay, but say that they should still go further.

Paul Holcroft, Croner Head of Legal and Advisory, is advising that too many employers are using template documents, and reminds of the ability to make the contracts work for their organisation.

“Employers, in this day and age, have the ability to create the contract which really works for their own business. We see too many people using template contracts which are not fit for purpose for their staff or services.

“Robust, industry specific documents are a must for employers. Your contract can reflect your own terms, including hours, benefits, and clearly outline procedures which is an invaluable support when running a workforce.”

Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB union, says that the introduction of the new Asda contracts will be a benefit to staff, commenting: “These new flexible contracts will help to ensure job security, ensure those accepting them are on the same terms and – best of all – ensure that people will earn more money as a result.

“The new contract offer involves quite a few changes, but as it’s voluntary, this allows colleagues to choose whatever suits their circumstances best.”

Croner is holding a breakfast briefing on 12 April for local businesses at Croner House, Hinckley, where Paul Holcroft will be speaking about employment contracts for local businesses in the area. To register your interest, please click here.