Lidl has announced pay rises from March of 2022, which it says will make it the highest-paying supermarket in the UK
Lidl will be increasing its minimum hourly wage for employees outside of London to £10.10 an hour, with rates of up to £11.40 for the supermarket’s more experienced workers.
Higher rates will apply in London, the supermarket has said.
It added that the increase has recognised “the hard work and dedication of frontline colleagues during the last 18 months of the pandemic”.
Earlier this year, Morrisons had become the first UK supermarket to pay at least £10 an hour to their employees.
“Entry-level wages will increase from £9.50 to £10.10 an hour outside of London and £10.85 to £11.30 within the M25 from March 2022, with colleagues earning up to £11.40 and £12.25 respectively, depending on length of service,” Lidl said.
This comes after the PM tore up the independent system for combating sleaze within parliament on Wednesday as he threw the government’s weight behind protecting a Tory MP who was found to have repeatedly breached lobbying rules.
It comes following official figures on Tuesday suggesting that employers in the UK are continuing to struggle to fill roles, affecting both the hospitality and retail sectors in particular.
Job vacancies had hit a fresh record high of 1.17 million in October, almost 400,000 higher than before the coronavirus pandemic.
With so many parts of the UK’s economy facing labour shortages, many employers are having to improve their pay and conditions in order to fill vacancies and keep hold of the staff that they have.
Lidl is still expanding in the country. It currently has over 850 stores in Great Britain and says that it’s still on track to increase that number to 1,000 by the end of the year 2023.
Lidl clearly wants to have an edge on hourly pay over its competition. And that will put more pressure on its bigger rivals, who have far larger wage bills to pay for.
Lidl said that the move represented a pay rise of more than 6% for some workers. More than 21,000 Lidl employees, about 80% of the company’s staff, would benefit from this pay increase, it added.
By comparison, the minimum wage for those workers over the age of 23 in the UK is set to rise from its current level of £8.91 an hour to £9.50 starting from April of 2022.
And earlier in the week, the Real Living Wage, which is paid by almost 9,000 employers throughout the country, went from £9.50 up to £9.90 an hour.
Lidl said its latest pay rise would cost it £18m and described it as part of its UK investment plan.
Nan Gibson, Lidl’s chief HR officer, told the BBC: “We do not expect to pass that on to customers in the form of price rises.”
This comes after deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam has said that the UK is now moving at “considerable pace” with its booster programme. The COVID booster vaccines rollout has been extended to all adults over the age of 40 from today, it has now been announced.
Lidl’s chief HR officer, Nan Gibson, told the BBC the supermarket was competing with many other industries for talent
She said it was currently “very difficult” to recruit staff, adding: “We are competing for talent with all the other retailers and, indeed, other industries.”
Ms Gibson said Lidl’s pay rise was intended to retain existing staff “as far as possible” and attract new workers.
The supermarket also reiterated its existing intention to have 1,000 stores in the UK by the end of 2023.
Christian Härtnagel, chief executive at Lidl GB, said: “We have ambitious plans to grow our business across Great Britain, and to do that, we need to ensure we attract and look after the best talent at every level of our business.”