John Lewis to give free meals to staff to help with rising cost of living

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The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has said it will give free meals to staff over the festive period to ease cost of living pressures, as it announced a recruitment drive for 10,000 new Christmas staff.

The retail group behind the John Lewis department store chain and Waitrose supermarket business said it will advertise a raft of store and supply chain jobs to help it deal with increased demand.

About 4,000 new seasonal workers will be recruited for the group’s 331 Waitrose shops, including supermarket assistants, night shift workers and delivery drivers.

The group is also hiring about 2,000 temporary workers for the its 34 John Lewis stores, including sales and merchandising roles.

JLP said the new positions will be advertised online through September and October.

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Additionally, the business is also filling about 4,000 roles across its supply chain through recruitment agencies, with JLP seeking to hire more warehouse workers and drivers to cope with higher demand for orders.

The company added that all permanent staff and temporary workers will receive free food from October 3 to January 6 to help with cost of living pressures.

Andrew Murphy, chief operations officer, at JLP said: “We pride ourselves on creating a happy workplace because it’s our partners who make the difference and it’s thanks to them that John Lewis and Waitrose are two of the UK’s best-loved brands.

“We are looking forward to welcoming people across the country to grow our team and ensure we deliver a great Christmas for our customers.”

The comments come after major supermarkets and retailers announced discount deals as part of a government campaign to help with soaring costs. Discounted meals and free entertainment are among the special deals offered by businesses such as Asda, Morrisons, Amazon and Vodafone.