The boss of the parent company behind DIY chain B&Q took home £2 million in pay last year and has been promised a 7.9% pay rise next year, the company's annual report has revealed.
Kingfisher – the parent group for B&Q, Screwfix, and French chain Costorama – paid chief executive Veronique Laury the sum at the same time as shop floor staff at B&Q saw their benefits cut due to the introduction of the living wage – although bosses later changed that policy.
Her number two, finance director Karen Witts, also saw her pay jump by 70% last year, thanks to a near fourfold increase in her annual bonus.
Laury, who replaced Sir Ian Cheshire last year, had previously been boss of Costorama, based in northern France.
She was given £200,000 for relocating to the UK, a £16,700 car allowance, £3,300 for medical expenses and £2,500 for financial advice; however, the company pointed out that this came to less than the full £350,000 that had been put to one side for her relocation.
Her base salary, published in Kingfisher’s annual report on Friday, was £700,000, but with bonuses, pension contributions, and long-term incentives, this rose to £1.98 million.
Next year her base pay will be £755,000 before any bonuses, and the company said she can expect a pay rise in 2018, too, because the board considers her salary too low compared with rivals at other high street chains.
Veronique Laury and Sir Ian Cheshire
Meanwhile, Witts saw her pay package jump from £847,000 to £1.44 million, as the company hit a variety of targets set by the board and outperformed its rivals.
She too will see her base salary – currently £550,000 – rise 4.5% to £575,000. Again, the company said this was due to previously agreed boosts to bring her pay in line with finance chiefs at rival retailers.
A company spokesperson said: “This package delivers no more than previously at on-target performance, is lower than the package of the previous CEO, and remains conservatively positioned against FTSE100 and retail sector norms.
“We will be looking to develop the reward structure for our Kingfisher colleagues to ensure that they all have the opportunity to share in the success of the transformation plan.”
The news of the pay increases comes just months after B&Q was revealed to have cut staff incentives to cover the extra cost of the government’s national living wage rise.
A petition called on B&Q to stop plans to end summer and winter bonuses, remove premium pay for Sunday and bank holiday workers, and restructure allowances.
Following the outcry, bosses changed their plans and said they would be rolled out over a longer period of time, promising to “look at ways we can enhance our overall reward package to ensure we remain one of the best and most attractive employers in retail".
Simon Neville is business editor at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
Contact Simon Neville at email@example.com.
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