Lidl, one of the discounters causing headaches for Britain’s largest supermarkets, is to become the first British grocer to pay its workers the living wages.
The retailer already pays its staff generously when benchmarked with others but as of October 1st, all Lidl employees across the England, Scotland and Wales will be paid at least £8.20 an hour while staff working in London will be entitled to £9.35 an hour. The move follows the government’s new ‘national living wage’ legislation, which will come into effect next April,
The higher salaries will set Lidl back £9m a year, but the German retailer should be able to handle it as it continues to grow its market share. Last year Lidl recorded annual sales of over £4bn.
Ronny Gottschlich, Lidl UK boss, said: “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."
Gottschlich says the plan is to double Lidl’s presence in Britain, targeting between 1,200 and 1,500 shops.
The announcement to increase wages will likely force the big four grocers Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons to do the same.