Lidl is increasing wages for frontline staff by up to 6%, making it the highest paying supermarket in the UK.
The company will invest £18m in increasing entry-level hourly wages from £9.50 to £10.10 per hour outside London (a 6.3% rise) and £10.85 to £11.35 (a 4.6% rise) within the M25.
Both are inflation-busting increases. The Office for National Statistics revealed today that the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 4.2% in the 12 months to October 2021, up from 3.1% in September. This is the highest 12-month inflation rate since November 2011, when the CPI annual inflation rate was 4.8%.
Lidl said that frontline staff will be earn £11.40 nationally and £12.25 in London, depending on their length of service.
Some 21,000 employees, around 80% of its UK workforce, are set to benefit from the increases when they take effect in March 2022.
Both the London and wider UK rates offered by Lidl are in excess of the hourly rates recommended by the Living Wage Foundation – £11.05 and £9.90 respectively.
“At Lidl, our frontline colleagues are the backbone of our business. They have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months of the Covid-19 crisis and are integral to our future success,” said Lidl GB CEO Christian Härtnagel.
“We have ambitious plans to grow our business across Great Britain, and to do that we need to ensure we attract and look after the best talent at every level of our business.”
Chief HR officer Nan Gibson said: “In 2015 we became the first supermarket in the UK to match the rates advocated by the Living Wage Foundation, and we are proud to have consistently increased wages every year since.
“There is no denying how hard our people work, more so than ever during recent times, and we’re delighted to be able to give our store and distribution centre colleagues the recognition they deserve and look forward to welcoming new colleagues to our teams in the months ahead.”
Earlier this year the supermarket awarded frontline workers a £200 thank you payment in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic, while all Lidl employees received a £150 gift voucher in 2020.
The new rates of pay are higher than what other major UK supermarkets are paying. Sainsbury’s supermarket staff earn £9.50 an hour and £10.10 an hour in central London; Morrisons staff earn £10 an hour (£10.85 in inner London and £10.60 in outer London); Tesco hourly-paid store and warehouse staff earn £9.55 an hour, but night staff earn a premium; and Aldi staff are paid £9.55 nationally and £11.07 in London.