Becky Frith , 18 Sep 2015
Lidl UK is to become the first supermarket to adopt the living wage.
From 1 October all Lidl UK employees will receive a minimum of £8.20 per hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 per hour in London. This will be an average wage increase of £1,200 per year, with 53% of Lidl UK’s 17,000-strong workforce and all age brackets benefitting from the rise.
The living wage is calculated by the Living Wage Foundation, and is based on the basic cost of living in the UK. It is distinct from the national living wage introduced in the summer budget, which is a top-up to the minimum wage for the over-25s.
Lidl joins employers such as Oliver Bonas, Nationwide, KPMG and Aviva in adopting the living wage.
Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said he is “delighted” by Lidl’s decision. “Its announcement is a massive breakthrough in the living wage campaign, and proves that paying staff a real living wage – calculated around the cost of living – is possible on the British high street,” he said. “It sets a challenge to the rest of the UK supermarket sector, which has until now claimed that paying staff the living wage was just not possible. Consumers can now genuinely make a living wage choice at the checkout.
“We look forward to working with Lidl towards accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation, and together championing fair pay in the retail sector.”
Ronny Gottschlich, Lidl UK CEO, 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.
“As a result Lidl employees will be among the best paid in the supermarket sector, and that’s something I feel incredibly proud about.”