You're hired! Supermarkets on a COVID-19 recruitment spree
Supermarkets at the front line of feeding a locked down UK have gone on a massive shopping spree for staff as a result of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
Morrisons, Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Co-op and Lidl want to hire thousands of staff after hugely increased demand saw shoppers clearing shelves, a move that came before the Government said it would meet the wage bills of firms affected by the pandemic.
Supermarkets have been overwhelmed by a wave of panic-buying as shoppers rush to stock up amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
To combat the stockpiling and protect staff and customers, the major British supermarkets have imposed food limits and introduced social distancing measures at their stores.
Along with other measures to cope with the increased demand, some of the chains have embarked on big recruitment drives for a total of more than 30,000 jobs.
Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket, wants to take on 20,000 temporary workers "to help feed the nation", it said.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand for food and household products," the chain told the BBC.
"At Tesco, we're working around the clock to help ensure families have access to the shopping items they need.
"We launched our recruitment drive online on Wednesday and since then we have already been overwhelmed by support from the public and thank everyone who has applied to work with us in stores."
It added that "over the coming days thousands of new colleagues will join us".
The chain also announced it will give all its workers across stores, distribution centres and customer engagement centres a 10 per cent bonus on their hourly rate until 1 May - backdated to 9 March.
Frontline salaried managers will receive a 10 per cent bonus on actual hours worked, it added.
Asda said it wanted to recruit more than 5,000 temporary staff from among people whose jobs have been impacted by the virus.
Aldi announced it was looking to fill 5,000 new temporary posts and take on 4,000 permanent new workers for jobs in all its stores and distribution centres.
Co-op have also created 5,000 new temporary and permanent store-based posts.
Lidl said it would create about 2,500 temporary jobs across its 800 stores in the UK.
The discounter said it was hiring to "help with an extremely busy time for stores".
Lidl GB chief executive Christian Haertnagel said staff were doing an "incredible job at keeping our shelves stocked and serving communities during an extremely challenging period".
"Temporarily expanding our teams is one way we can help support our colleagues and customers, whilst providing work to those that have had their employment affected by the current situation."
Morrisons has already said it would create 3,500 new jobs to expand its home delivery service, hiring around 2,500 pickers and drivers, as well as 1,000 staff in its distribution centres.
It said it would make more slots available and also set up a call centre for those without access to online shopping.
Morrisons said the move would help "at a time of national need".
As well as introducing social distancing measures, Sainsbury's CEO Mike Coupe said the store would prefer customers to pay with a card rather than cash.
He also said that Sainsbury's would be expanding its reserved 08:00-09:00 slot for elderly, disabled and vulnerable customers to NHS and social care workers.