Written evidence submitted by Tesco (RDF0029)
Thank you for inviting me to give oral evidence to your Committee on the ‘Road freight supply chain’. It was a pleasure to appear before the Committee and I agreed to provide follow up information relating to Tesco’s transport workforce and the split of agency vs Tesco employees.
Our current split of drivers (as of the Committee session) is c. 3,300 Tesco FTE and c. 900 agency. This equates to 79% of our drivers being Tesco employees and 21% agency. We, therefore, have a mix of full-time and agency colleagues, but with the vast majority as Tesco employees. We have actively increased our recruitment of Tesco-employed drivers in recent years, so that the share of agency drivers we use has halved in the past five years, from a level of 42% in 2016/17 to 21% today. The Committee asked about the ‘churn’ rate of Tesco vs agency drivers. We can confirm that we experience higher turnover of agency colleagues than Tesco-employed colleagues and this is one factor behind us recruiting higher numbers of Tesco-employed drivers.
All drivers receive the same conditions at our facilities. Contractors and agency workers are and will continue to be a key part of the driver market, not least because many drivers continue to choose the agency route, which provides them with flexibility and can allow them to obtain higher wages at certain times of the year. Despite reducing our reliance on agency workers, we have had direct feedback from some drivers that they prefer to remain as agency drivers.
Please let me know if it would be useful to have any further information and I look forward to the publication of your report.