More than 1,200 of Sainsbury’s highest earners will see their bonus payments brought forward by three months. This means that the bonuses will be paid before the introduction of an increase to the income tax rate for high earners.
The increased income tax rate, which comes into effect on 6 April, is being raised to 50% for those earning over £150,000 annually.
While Sainsbury’s highest earners will receive their performance-related bonuses in late March, the remainder of the 120,000 staff eligible for bonuses will receive their bonuses in April (as opposed the usual June payout).
A spokesperson for Sainsbury said: “We believe that bonuses work best when they are delivered as close as possible to the performance period for which they relate. This year, we are trialling a new award timetable which will pay over 120,000 colleagues their bonus eight weeks earlier than normal.
“In addition, approximately 1,200 of our most senior leaders will receive a proportion of their bonus awards 12 weeks earlier than normal. We think it is fairer to the individual for the proportion of their bonus awards that are based on Sainsbury’s financial performance to be paid, and therefore taxed, in accordance with the rates that applied across the financial year in which they were earned.”
The bonus news comes less than a week after the supermarket chain announced that over 9,000 employees will benefit from the success of two of Sainsbury’s sharesave schemes.
With the share price at £3.36 when the three-year and five-year schemes matured and were exercised, Sainsbury staff saw an average 39% increase on their original savings across 9,000 contracts.
All staff with three months continuous service are invited to join Sainsbury’s sharesave schemes. Currently, there are 27,000 employees saving between £5 and £250 each month into 58,000 Sainsbury’s sharesave contracts.