September 17, 2015 / 11:47 PM / 5 years ago

Lidl to boost pay for British staff

LONDON (Reuters) - Discount supermarket Lidl [LIDUK.UL] will next month increase pay for thousands of its staff in Britain by at least 12 percent.

A sign is seen outside a LIDL supermarket in Cricklewood, London January 21, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

German-owned Lidl, which has been winning market share from bigger rivals Tesco (TSCO.L), Asda (WMT.N), Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) and Morrisons (MRW.L), said that from Oct. 1 its employees will receive a minimum of 8.20 pounds an hour across England, Scotland and Wales and 9.35 pounds an hour in London.

“Lidl employees will be amongst the best paid in the supermarket sector,” said Chief Executive Ronny Gottschlich.

It said this will be an average wage increase of 1,200 pounds per year, with 53 percent of Lidl UK’s 17,000 workforce and all age brackets benefiting. Lidl has been paying workers outside of London a minimum of 7.30 pounds an hour, while those in the capital get at least 8.03 pounds.

The new levels are above a compulsory “national living wage” which the British government is introducing next April for workers aged over 25.

Lidl said the pay rise will cost it an additional 9 million pounds a year.

Clothing retailer Next (NXT.L), Costa Coffee owner Whitbread (WTB.L) and pub chain Wetherspoon’s (JDW.L) have all warned about the higher costs stemming from the government’s wage policy.

Last month Sainsbury’s awarded store staff a 4 percent pay rise, taking its standard rate of pay to 7.36 pounds per hour.

Market leader Tesco pays an hourly rate of 7.39 pounds, Asda will pay 7.00 pounds from Oct. 1, while Aldi pays 8.15 pounds.

Morrisons’ standard hourly rate for store staff varies from a minimum of 6.83 pounds to a minimum of 7.79 pounds depending on location, though it is yet to conclude this year’s pay round.

Tesco and Lidl, unlike Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Aldi, do not pay staff for breaks.

Editing by Keith Weir

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