A Cornish bakery firm has put forward a proposal to 31 members of staff to take a 10% pay cut for the next six months.

Warrens Bakery, based in Penzance, said the highest-paid staff within the business, who are in management roles, have been asked to take the pay reduction, which will be reimbursed after the six-month period.

The move could result in some members of staff losing around £50 per week from their current salaries for this duration.

Jason Jobling, business development manager at Warrens Bakery, told British Baker: “We have a fantastic product to build on in terms of our heritage and our products, but like all businesses at the moment, we are finding it tough with all the environmental challenges, such as the current state of the high street, increasing fuel and ingredients prices.

“Part of our ongoing business plan is to strengthen the business and we must tick certain boxes at the moment, looking at areas such as extending opening hours, improving waste control and various cost measures. One of these cost measures is that we have asked the highest earners within the business to take a 10% pay reduction for six months. 

“What this is symbolic of is that the staff are really caring about the business and are willing to do something themselves. This 10% is only a proposal at the moment and it will be paid back after the six-month period, when the business is in a better position.”

He added that the reason Warrens has set this as a six-month duration is because the firm is based in Cornwall and it is the “the trickiest time of the year”.

“Warrens has been running as a family business and it’s time for it now to evolve, so the way we are trying to do this is by restructuring our management team,” Jobling said. “Mr Warren, who is currently the sole owner of the business, will continue to be a shareholder and he is a master baker, so he will turn his attention to baking and new product development.”

The firm recently appointed Mark Sullivan, from the firm Cornish Sea Salt, as its new chairman to help turn around the business for the future. 

Over the last six months, Warrens has closed five of its retail outlets, which resulted in 10 redundancies, along with the closure of an office facility where no redundancies were made. The firm currently operates 51 bakery shops, along with three manufacturing sites – two based in Cornwall and one located in Devon.

Warrens Bakery has been in operation since 1860 and currently employs more than 400 people across the business.