18 September 2015 | Jamie Harris
Supermarket chain Lidl UK has announced that it will adopt the Living Wage from 1 October 2015.
In a move that is said to be costing the German-owned retailer £9 million, all Lidl UK employees will be paid a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 an hour in London.
The wage increase, which represents an extra £1,200 a year for each employee, is applicable to all age brackets, and will affect more than half of its 17,000-strong workforce in the UK.
Ronny Gottschlich, Lidl UK CEO, said: "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."
The Living Wage is set by the Living Wage Foundation. The rate is currently £7.85 an hour, and £9.15 an hour in London. The national minimum wage is currently £6.50 an hour, rising to £6.70 an hour on 1 October.
The Living Wage is distinct from the chancellor's announcement of the national living wage, which will see over-25s receive a wage rate of £7.20 an hour from April 2016, rising to over £9 an hour by 2020.