Lidl Become The First UK Supermarket To Pay The Living Wage But Won’t Raise Prices

The German supermarket has committed to paying employees the Living Wage of at least £8.20 an hour

High-street supermarket Lidl has announced it is introducing the Living Wage, paying it’s employees at least £8.20 per hour.

The German chain will pay workers at least £8.20 an hour, with London workers making a minimum of £9.35 p/h and has claimed this increase will benefit 53 per cent of it’s 17,000 UK employees.

Currently the Living Wage Foundation has set the Living Wage at £7.85 p/h in the UK and £9.15 p/h in London for workers over the age of 25.

Lidl joins the ranks of companies including Burberry, Chelsea FC and Lush who have already committed to paying employees the Living Wage.

The increase in salaries is set to cost the supermarket £9million a year according to the Financial Times but Lidl insists it will not be increasing its prices.

In July, Chancellor George Osborne unveiled the National Living Wage (formerly National Minimum Wage) of £7.20 to be introduced next April much to the horror of companies like Costa Coffee who has warned it will have to “significantly increase” its prices in order to meet the new minimum wage.

As none of the big four supermarkets – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons – currently pay the Living Wage, Lidl’s commitment was welcomed by the director of the Living Wage Foundation, Rhys Moore.

‘We are thrilled. We’ve been working with and trying to persuade the retail sector to commit to pay the living wage rates rather than National Minimum Wage.’

‘The BRC [British Retail Consortium] are very behind the curve on this. Lidl is demonstrating this commitment to staff, and customers want to know that they’re shopping in places which treat their staff well.’

Judging by a Google search for Lidl, the decision is already benefitting the company with people very interested in joining the team…
Should there be more pressure on UK companies to pay the Living Wage?

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