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Marks & Spencer to give staff 15% bonus to say thanks for working during coronavirus crisis

MARKS & Spencer is to give its frontline staff a 15 per cent bonus and make sure furloughed colleagues are paid in full as the coronavirus crisis continues.

The retailer said the bonus was in recognition of people's hard work in "unprecedented times".

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M&S has temporarily closed the clothing and home parts of its stores, as well as its outlet shops, but has decided to keep its food halls and website open.

Members of staff who are still working in stores and warehouses for the company will be given a 15 per cent bonus “in recognition of the work they are doing to support their teams and the national effort to help customers access the products they need,” M&S said.

We have asked M&S when workers can expect to get this extra pay and we'll update this article when we know more.

Tesco and Aldi have also recently announced bonuses for store and distribution staff of 10 per cent.

M&S workers who are not needed in stores have been offered voluntary furlough, meaning they can remain at home but will still receive full pay.

If any staff need to self-isolate because they or a member of their family become unwell, M&S will also pay them in full.

M&S said workers who are pregnant, aged over 70 or with the health conditions specified by the Department of Health are already on leave for 12 weeks on full pay.

M&S said it is also rolling out extra measures to try and keep workers in stores safe, including plastic face shields which will be distributed this week.

The retailer is also installing plastic “sneeze guards” on all its checkouts.

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Sacha Berendji, retail and operations director at M&S, said: “We are actively encouraging social distancing in our food halls, and have already introduced a number of measures to help colleagues stay healthy and enable customers to shop for the essentials they need with confidence – from floor markings to the introduction of sneeze guards at till points.

“The latest measure is the introduction of reusable face shields, which will be distributed to our hard working teams this week.”

M&S will also be accepting contactless payments at the higher limit of £45.

M&S is selling £30 boxes filled with essentials including loo roll and pasta – and elderly customers get priority.

Other retailers have also been doing more to try and protect staff from infection, including Boots and Lidl.

And here's some helpful advice if you find yourself out of work at the moment.

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