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M&S announces 950 jobs at risk

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M&S has announced hundreds of jobs are to be cut as it becomes the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

The high street stalwart has announced proposals to transform its retail management structure as part of its ‘never the same again programme’.

The proposed changes would affect 950 roles across its central operations, property and store management.

M&S confirmed it has now started a consultation process with employee representative groups and has set out its intention to first offer voluntary redundancy.

M&S added that as part of its May results, it outlined plans to accelerate the pace and scale of its transformation plan and make three years’ progress in one.

Today’s proposals build on the earlier plans with M&S looking to remove role duplication and bring in more flexible structures into its store operations.

Earlier it was reported that M&S was due to serve notice of imminent redundancies as it looks to restructure operations due to the impact of Covid-19.

Sources told Sky News that several thousand jobs were expected to be lost as chief executive Steve Rowe “accelerates an ongoing restructuring of the business during the coming months”.

Sacha Berendji, director of retail, operations and property at M&S, said: “Our proposals reflect an important next step in our ‘never the same again programme’ to accelerate our transformation and become a stronger, leaner and more resilient business.

“Through the crisis we have seen how we can work faster and more flexibly by empowering store teams and it’s essential that we embed that way of working. Our priority now is to support all those affected through the consultation process and beyond.”

The job cuts come despite 27,000 M&S employees – a third of the workforce – being furloughed under the government’s scheme to discourage firms from laying off workers.

It follows in the footsteps of Boots, John Lewis and Monsoon Accessorize which have recently announced job losses and store closures to stem losses from the coronavirus crisis.

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