Lidl boosts wages above its grocery rivals

EconomicsNewsOne in five Brits trapped in working poverty Jack Peat

Living Wage New Zealand convener, Annie Newman said for many low wage workers, the boost in pay can't come soon enough.

Unlike the minimum wage, the "real" living wage is updated each year and calculated based on the basic cost of living in the UK.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "I pledged to ensure the London Living Wage rises to beyond £10 and I am delighted that has been achieved".

"As the fastest growing supermarket our business is continuing to go from strength to strength, and it's only right that we show our commitment to our colleagues in the same way that they commit to the business and our customers each and every day", said Christian Härtnagel, chief executive of the German supermarket chain in the UK. Currently, businesses do not need to pay it but can sign up to it voluntarily.

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Lidl is lifting hourly wages from £8.45 an hour to £8.75 for all its store staff outside London and £9.75 to £10.20 for workers within the M25.

Some Hackney employers, including the Picturehouse cinema opposite the Town Hall, pay some staff less than LLW.

Sadiq Khan added: "Paying the London Living Wage is not only the action of a responsible organisation, but a successful one too". More than 150 employers have become accredited to the living wage in recent weeks including the National Gallery, the Southbank Centre and Somerset House.

The budget supermarket's rate now matches the new Living Wage Foundation's voluntary rate, which was announced today.

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Lidl's wage rise means the discounter is paying its United Kingdom employees a greater hourly wage than all its supermarket rivals, including the "Big Four", which are in the process of slashing jobs to cover higher employment costs.

It's important to note that the "real" living wage is different from the government's national minimum wage, now known as the National Living Wage (if you're over 25).

The Living Wage Foundation says the 2017 increases are due to higher inflation affecting the "basket" of goods and services that underpin the rates, such as rent and transport costs. "Nine out of ten accredited Living Wage employers report real benefits including improved retention, reputation, recruitment and staff motivation".

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