Lidl UK’s CEO has said he is “proud” of his employees as the company becomes the first British supermarket to pay its staff the living wage.
Under the new rules, all of the supermarket’s UK workers will be paid a minimum of £8.20 an 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 workforce and all age brackets benefitting from the rise.
Ronny Gottschlich, Lidl UK CEO said: “At Lidl UK we are proud of our achievements, proud of our growth, and proud of our unwavering commitment to our customers and quality products, but most of all we are proud of our employees who make everything possible.
“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 amongst the best paid in the supermarket sector, and that’s something I feel incredibly proud about.”
Reaction to the announcement on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive...
@LidlUK Well done Lidl, Refreshing to see that you value your employees. Thank you— Lindsay Rodgers (@LindodoLindsay) September 18, 2015
Lidl boss calls the £9m cost of paying staff the #LivingWage an "investment". Excellent attitude!— Rob Cates (@robcates) September 18, 2015
@HuffPostUK Wow - This is fantastic! Then why can't all the other Supermarkets follow this wonderful example?— Gregory Roberts (@GreggiWeggi) September 18, 2015
The announcement comes ahead of the Living Wage Foundation’s rate update in November. Lidl UK is going to pay the rate it expects the LWF to announce but said that if this is higher, it will raise its wages in accordance.
Ikea became the first UK retailer to commit to paying its staff the living wage in July. The Swedish furniture giant is set to roll out the new rates in 2016, meaning more than half of its employees will receive a pay rise.
In August, retailer Oliver Bonas became the first high-street store to achieve living wage accreditation.
A recent poll by Nationwide revealed that more than 85% of people think that employers that can afford to pay the living wage should do so.