Asda to pay colleagues an extra week's wages and calls on customers to be kind
Supermarket giant Asda is to pay its staff an extra week's wages in recognition of their hard work during the coronavirus outbreak.
Yorkshire's two leading supermarkets, Asda and Morrisons, have been at the forefront of efforts to keep the nation fed whilst observing strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the disease.
Asda's chief executive Roger Burnley said colleagues will receive an extra week’s pay in June in recognition of their "extra efforts" to protect the health of colleagues who need to self-isolate during the outbreak.
He also said that staff members who have been told by the Government to self-isolate for 12 weeks will receive full pay for their isolation period.
"We’re encouraging colleagues to step away from the shop floor to wash their hands regularly," he said.
"The latest advice from Government has made a very clear ask of us all. That we stay at home as much as we can in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.
"Whilst visits to supermarkets are still allowed to ensure your families have the essentials they need, it’s really important that you do all you can to maintain social distancing. It has never been more important for us to work together to keep our distance."
Asda is to bring in extra colleagues at the front of its stores, to ensure there are a safe number of customers in store at all times
New barriers and signage will help guide customers in and through stores and there will be signs and distance floor-markers to remind customers to keep two metres away from other shoppers.
Perspex screens will soon be fitted at Asda checkouts, but until then customers are being asked to keep their distance from Asda colleagues.
Some Scan and Go tills will be closed to help maintain distances and customers are being asked to only touch items they intend to purchase.
Shoppers are also being asked to use cashless payments wherever possible and the contactless limit will be increased to £45 from April 1 to make this easier.
"With the rapidly changing landscape of the UK, it is important we look after each other with the means we have available to us. This is especially true of our key workers at Asda," said Mr Burnley.
"We're using extra cleaning materials in our stores more often, especially in our busier walkways.
"Our cleaning stations at the front of stores are replenished to make it easier to sanitise trolleys and baskets before and after use."
Online shopping drivers have been provided with hand sanitiser and gloves and Asda said it is making as many online shopping slots available as it can.
"We’re encouraging those that are able to safely shop in person do so—this allows us to deliver to the highly vulnerable," said Mr Burnley.
"If you are self-isolating or have additional needs, please advise us in the ‘other information’ section when placing your order – you can tell us where you would like your order to be left.
"It has never been more important for us to work together to keep our distance. I want you to know that everyone at Asda is working tirelessly to make sure you have the essentials your family needs and that you can shop in our stores safely if you need to visit us.
We’re working hard to protect you and our colleagues – please help us to do so by following the guidelines in place. My colleagues in our stores are working under incredible pressure to serve you, and I am hugely grateful to them for their efforts. Please be kind to them when you visit us - we’re all in this together."