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21 Sep 2015

Lidl announces it will pay British staff the Living Wage

Global discount supermarket Lidl will become the first supermarket in the UK to pays its employees the Living Wage, The Telegraph reports.

As of October 1 this year, every member of Lidl staff in the UK will receive a minimum of £8.20 per hour; those working in London will be paid £9.35 an hour, in line with the higher costs of living in the capital.

The decision will benefit some 9,000 the supermarket´s 17,000 employees, across all age groups and demographics, and will result in an average pay increase of £1,200 per year.

In July this year, the Conservative government declared that a new ‘national living wage´ would be introduced in April 2016. However, this amount is far less than the living wage proposed by the Living Wage Foundation - £7.20 to begin with, rising to £9 per hour by 2020 - and will only be available for workers over the age of 25.

The wage increase at Lidl, on the other hand, was calculated based on the recommendations made by the Living Wage Foundation; what´s more, the supermarket has promised to match the Foundation´s new rate when it is announced in November.

Commenting on the news, Lidl UK´s chief executive Ronny Gottschlich stressed the importance of looking after the company´s workforce: “We recognise that every employee forms an integral part of team Lidl, and each individual´s contribution is valued.”

“It´s therefore only right that we show our commitment, in the same way that the team commit to the business and our customers each and every day, by ensuring a wage that supports the cost of living.”

The pay rise is set to make Lidl staff among the highest paid in the supermarket sector. And although it will increase Lidl´s outgoings by £9 million per year, with reported annual sales of over £4 billion in 2014 it seems that the supermarket will easily be able to foot the bill.

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2015

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