Lidl UK has announced it would adopt the new Living Wage Foundation pay rate for its employees, making it the first supermarket in Britain to do so this year.
Effective from March next year, all Lidl UK employees will now receive a minimum of £8.45 per hour across England, Scotland and Wales – well above the National Living Wage rate of £7.50 per hour set by the government.
For those in London, the minimum rate will be £9.75 per hour.
The new pay rates will benefit 5500 staff members, around a quarter of Lidl UK’s workforce.
The changes also make them among the best-paid supermarket employees in the UK.
The news follows Lidl UK’s announcement last year when it became the first British supermarket to adopt the new living wage rate set by the Living Wage Foundation.
Lidl said the announcement led to a 20 per cent increase in job applications over the last 12 months.
The company is also currently looking to recruit over 630 people for permanent positions before Christmas.
“We recognise the contribution of each and every colleague within the business and we feel it’s important to celebrate our achievements together,” Lidl UK HR board director Nan Gibson said.
Chief executive Christian Härtnagel agreed: “This announcement comes at a time when our business is going from strength to strength and our market share has reached a record high of 4.6 per cent.
“It is one of many commitments that we will be making to our colleagues in the near future.”