19/09/2015 - Lidl become first supermarket to pay the Living Wage

lidlCongratulations to Lidl! In contrast to the whingeing and whining from some businesses about paying the National Living Wage set in the Conservative budget Lidl are to pay their staff over this. Lidl will become he first UK supermarket to implement the minimum wage as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.

From October, Lidl UK employees will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 an hour in London, the supermarket said. The National Living Wage as required by the UK government, which was set out in George Osborne's July Budget, is set to be £7.20 an hour from April 2016 for people aged over 25. So Lidl will be paying at least a pound an hour more to their employees than the rate set by the government which some Srooge bosses have complained is too high! It shows that a company can be both profitable and look after workers. In fact we at Solidarity would suggest that a company that values workers is more likely to be profitable.

The chief executive of Lidl UK, Ronny Gottschlich, said: "Lidl employees will be amongst the best paid in the supermarket sector."

He said the company wanted to share its "success" with the staff.

It now had 5.5 million customers every week and planned to expand.

"Recently we announced we could easily imagine another 280 stores in London alone and between 1,200 and 1,500 stores in our store portfolio. "

"There aren't any patches where we can say we don't want to expand anymore. There is potential in almost every single town." Mr Gottschlich added.

The director of the Living Wage Foundation, Rhys Moore, Rhys Moore, Director, Living Wage Foundation said:

"We are delighted by the move from Lidl to increase the pay of their staff to rates above the current UK and London voluntary Living Wage rates, and significantly higher than the national minimum wages. They have also committed to matching the new Living Wage rates announced by the Living Wage Foundation in November. Their announcement is a massive breakthrough in the Living Wage campaign, and proves that paying staff a real Living Wage, calculated around the cost of living, is possible on the British high-street. It sets a challenge to the rest of the UK supermarket sector, that has until now claimed that paying staff the Living Wage was just not possible. Consumers can now genuinely make a Living Wage choice at the checkout. We look forward to working with Lidl towards accreditation with the Living Wage Foundation, and together championing fair pay in the retail sector."

"None of the big four supermarkets currently pay the living wage rates, and the BRC [British Retail Consortium] are very behind the curve on this."

Pat Harrington, general secretary of Solidarity, said: "If other supermarkets don't follow the lead set by Lidl consumers who care about this issue should switch away from them and shop, wherever possible, at Lidl. People need decent wages."