Sainsbury’s is to follow some of its rival UK supermarket chains in paying its shop workers at least £10 an hour.
The company’s current basic pay rate is £9.50 but it will raise this by 50p an hour for staff across its stores, including Argos outlets, from 6 March.
In London, Sainsbury’s will increase its minimum hourly rate from £9.75 to £10.50 for workers in outer boroughs and from £10.10 to £11.05 in inner areas.
If it had maintained its current rate of pay, Sainsbury’s would have found itself paying the bare minimum, as the national living wage, the UK’s minimum wage for workers aged 23 and over, is to rise from £8.91 to £9.50 an hour from April. The “real” Living Wage, paid voluntarily by almost 9,000 employers throughout the country, has gone up from £9.50 to £9.90 an hour.
Van and lorry drivers among Sainsbury’s 150,000 employees will also receive higher rates of pay as the retailer struggles to compete for labour as the continuing shortages of staff bite because of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic. Groceries delivery drivers will now receive £11.50 per hour.
The supermarket chain said it was investing £100m in improving pay and rewards for its frontline staff.
It stated: “While demand for online deliveries remains high, this enhanced pay will help the retailer recruit and retain the best talent.”
Despite the increase, the higher rate does not put Sainsbury’s in the top two supermarkets for hourly pay: Aldi and Lidl will pay their store workers £10.10 per hour from February and March respectively.
Within the M25, Lidl has set out new rates where more experienced workers will earn up to £11.40 an hour, while Aldi will pay £11.55 an hour.
Data at online pay trackers suggests that Tesco currently pays £9.55 an hour (including a pay rise in June 2021), while Waitrose and Co-op pay £9.50 and Asda pays about £9.20.
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