Hit or miss? Tesco offers permanent job paying only Jobseeker's Allowance

Tesco came under fire over its participation in government unemployment schemes when it posted a job centre ad for a permanent role as a night shift worker, paying only Jobseeker's Allowance.

Job's not a good'un: Tesco under fire
Job's not a good'un: Tesco under fire

The supermarket claimed the mistake was due to an 'IT error'. The following furore forced Tesco to briefly close a Westminster store because of protesters. On Tuesday Tesco offered to pay all work experience candidates referred through Jobcentre Plus.

How I see it

Stuart Leasor, Senior consultant, M:Communications

To quote Claudius in Hamlet: 'When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.' It seems the sorrows are now coming for Tesco. Following hard on its poor January trading figures, the way it has handled the unpaid jobs scandal suggests that it is losing its previous aura of invincibility.

Its comment that the ad was due to an IT processing error verges on the 'captain fell into the lifeboat' defence from the Italian cruise disaster. In a case where Twitter has again shown its teeth, Tesco has been caught flat-footed.

Apart from the feeble IT excuse, it took almost a week to issue an 'old-tech' press release offering to pay young people on work experience, and still not making a case for the bigger issue of why Britain's retail behemoth needs to benefit from 180,000 hours of labour paid for by the taxpayer.


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