Lidl employees across England, Scotland and Wales will receive a minimum of £8.45 an hour, and £9.75 an hour in London. The pay increase will benefit 5,500 employees.
The increase will coincide with the retail organisation’s cyclical review of salaries in March 2017.
The living wage is a voluntary, independently set rate, which is calculated according to the basic cost of living. The Living Wage Foundation announced the new living wage rates on 31 October 2016.
Although Lidl UK is not accredited with the Living Wage Foundation as a living wage employer, the organisation is the first UK supermarket to align its pay with the new living wage rates.
Lidl UK increased employee pay in line with the voluntary living wage in October 2015. This contributed to a 20% increase in job applications over the last 12 months.
Nan Gibson, HR board director at Lidl UK, said: “We recognise the contribution of each and every colleague within the business and we feel it’s important to celebrate our achievements together. So it fills me with pride that our colleagues are amongst the best paid in the supermarket sector, and it’s absolutely deserved for the commitment and value they bring to the [organisation] every day.”
Katherine Chapman, director at the Living Wage Foundation, said: “Lidl’s commitment to pay [its] staff the new real living wage rates is fantastic news and an acknowledgement of what we have always believed and advocated; that it is possible to pay the real living wage if you are a supermarket in the UK.
“We would love to see Lidl go further and signal [its] long-term commitment by accrediting with the Living Wage Foundation to guarantee that all sub-contracted staff such as cleaners are paid the real living wage. This will also reassure [employees] that their wages will rise in line with the cost of living every year.”