Sainsbury’s becomes highest paying grocer as 130,000 staff get pay rise


Sainsbury’s has announced a 15 per cent pay rise for its store staff, raising the base rate of pay from £8.00 to £9.20 per hour.

For staff working in inner-London, they will now receive £9.80 per hour.

The move is part of a new £100 million investment scheme, which the grocer said it would fund through ongoing cost savings.

It comes ahead of a further rise in the national minimum wage next month, jumping from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour.

This is set to rise incrementally until 2020 to at least £9 per hour.

The “industry-leading” pay rise now puts Sainsbury’s staff well ahead of its Big 4 rivals in terms of basic pay and makes it the highest-paying major grocer in the UK by some margin.

According to Sainsbury’s, the pay rise will apply to all 130,000 store-staff.

However, it added that “a small proportion of colleagues may be adversely impacted” by its new proposals, which include the removal of colleague bonuses and paid breaks alongside the consolidation of 22 specific roles down to five.

“To support these colleagues, Sainsbury’s plans to make top-up payments for 18 months to ensure that no colleague earns less than they do today during this time,” the retailer stated.

“The retail sector has never been more competitive and we know that our customers really value our colleagues and the excellent service they provide in our shops.

“Which is why we think it is so important to invest further in our colleagues so they feel rewarded and motivated to do the best possible job for our customers every day. We expect the best from our teams and that’s why we’re committing to a leading rate of pay. Great pay for great work.

“Together with our recent proposals to change our management structure in stores, we believe the proposed changes will set us up to run the best shops in the industry, delivering the best possible service for our customers.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette’s free daily email newsletter


  1. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. For an 8 hour day currently including paid breaks the base rate would be £64 which is a long way from any conception of a living wage. Increasing the base hourly rate to £9.20 would increase this to £73.60 however wait turns out they will no longer pay for breaks so your 8 hour day paid becomes 7 hours paid which now equals £64.40. A net increase of £0.40 p per day or 0.625%. If the working day was 7.5 hours ie only 30 mins break a day the pay would be £69 a day a net increase of £5 a day or 7.8% still a light year away from a living wage. Cheers JS

    • And of course you are forgetting the removal of our yearly bonus…for somebody working 39 hours its the loss of around £450 per year

      • That’s a valid point but for someone working full time isn’t it also a pay increase of about £1300 per year so it isn’t all bad? Is the yearly bonus guaranteed or is it target based?

      • You’ll still be better off. A 39 hour week now pays £312 before tax. On the new rate this would be a 36.5 hour week paying £335.80 before tax. £23.80 a week, that’s £1237.60 more a year.

  2. Just wondering what your idea of a living wage is? From what you’ve said £69 a day is about £8.62 per hour which doesn’t sound that bad. Just that saying it’s a light year away makes it sound like a terrible wage which I personally don’t think it is.

  3. A full timer doing 39 hours a week will be £187 a month better off, losing 10 hours in breaks a month will be £90) still £97 better off if they work Sundays and entitled to a Sunday premium (at £2.55 an hour) and do 8 hours x 4 Sundays a month (depending on when you started) you will lose £20.40 a week x 4 =£81.60 so still £15 better off. the problem is when you work nights every one will lose out.
    Can be as much as £100 a month ( we get paid every 4 weeks, a premiums change and a 45 min break not being paid you will be £1.32 over 10 hour worse off so a full timer will lose £21.00. I will be about £92 worse off every 4 weeks as i will lose my Sunday premium at £70. At least I will still have a job at the moment.

  4. Work for Tesco you get only 8.02 an hour and no payed breaks and a 2.5% yearly bonus and a reduction in Sunday and bank holiday hourly pay. Fair play Sainsbury’s for looking after the workforce Tesco have won the race for paying no where near the living wage

  5. They are doing away with the Sunday premium and putting everyone on current contracts. It’s made to sound good but I don’t think many see it that way.

  6. Yeah this isn’t good. As a nightshift worker i currently earn £10.06 an hour but the reduction in night shift premium is borderline ridiculous… Night shift premium is £1.55 an hour for your entire 10 hour shift but they’re changing it to £2.20 an hour but only between the hours of 12-5. Of which half an hour is going to be taken away for your unpaid lunch break. 4 and a half hours nigthshift for working 9-7. Your nightshift premium is a whopping £9.90. That’s the ‘premium’ for your 9pm-7am shift? Do these high up people actually ‘get’ nights? I kind of get the impression that they walk into their pristine shops in the morning and imagine some magic elves have done it all for them akin to the shoemakers elves story… That they ‘don’t need breaks’ (since ours are getting cut in half) and ‘don’t need premium pay’. It’s damn hard work on nights, it plays havoc with your body clock and messes up your health. And All for a measley £9.90 a shift? It’s insulting. I challenge any of the head managers to do a week on nights and try to justify this decision. Even with the increase in base pay, night workers are going to be £60 worse off per month, £800 a year… I’m finding a new job. I want my life and my health back and this gig aint’ worth it anymore.

  7. I’ll be losing my paid break, night shift premium and annual bonus. Also the manager at my store didn’t tell the staff that we will not be having a pay rise next year (2019) will have to wait till 2020 to see if we will get one, when I asked he looked a bit surprise and then confirmed we won’t get a pay rise next year. If this was such a good deal why are they not giving the staff all the details of the pay deal. What have they got to hide.

  8. where did retail gazette they get this information from? everything except the scrapping on MCM bonus considered, i will be getting a 4.2% pay rise, some members of night shifts are getting less than 1% increase, and some (those who work full time night shifts including sunday nights) are going to be taking a pay cut (although apparently “topped up” so that “nobody will be worse off for 18 months”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here