Marks & Spencer criticised for bonus inequality

Marks & Spencer has been criticised by a private investor for paying executives large bonuses while those given to shop floor staff have been regarded as disappointing.

Speaking at the retailer’s annual general meeting yesterday, Anthony Lytham, said: “Everything so far is good and I’m pleased with the bonus that you’ve actually given to shop workers but there have been some beautiful bonuses earned on that board up there but down on the shop floor [they are] not so good I’m afraid.”

However, a spokeswoman at Marks & Spencer said the comment did not fairly represent the situation because store staff have been given a record bonus this year. The bonus pot that staff will receive in this month’s pay packet is £91m for the last financial year ending March 2007. The sum will be shared among 72,000 employees. “This is the largest bonus figure that we have ever allocated and all staff for the second year running have had a bonus which is something we haven’t done before,” said the spokeswoman.

She continued that although Lytham’s views are valued, he is not a member of staff and he was not speaking on behalf of the staff team at any of the stores.

“It’s just one person’s comment, while 72,000 all seem happy with their bonus,” she added.