More supermarkets set to pay living wage in Lidl’s wake, experts

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Lidl’s staff pay hike announcement is likely to prompt more supermarkets to follow suit amid strong competition in the sector, analysts predict.

The supermarket chain has announced that more than 9,000 staff are being given a pay rise worth £1,200 a year.

An announcement from Morrisons about wages is also expected to take place soon.

Lidl will pay a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales and £9.35 per hour in London from October 1, benefiting 53% of its 17,000-strong UK workforce.

Maureen Hinton, group research director at retail research agency Conlumino, said wages are a “big topic” for the supermarkets.

She told the Press Association: “It’s good for Lidl because it gives them a halo of corporate responsibility around this.”

Ms Hinton said that with a price war already raging between supermarkets in the battle for customers’ business, their actions over staff wages were another way of giving them an edge from a marketing point of view.

Asked whether she thinks more supermarkets will make wage announcements, she said: “Yes, I think it’s definitely being discussed.”

Lidl’s move - which will cost it £9 million - sees the company increase pay above the incoming National Living Wage, instead matching the rate expected to be set by the Living Wage Foundation, which is due to be announced in November.

It pledges to increase minimum wages further if the Living Wage Foundation sets a higher rate than expected.

Ms Hinton also said that it can be hard to compare wages between supermarkets as some pay for breaks and some do not, and additional perks such as bonuses also vary.

Morrisons is currently in the midst of its yearly pay negotiations.

A spokesman said: “Our standard hourly rate of pay for store colleagues varies from a minimum of £6.83 to a minimum of £7.79 depending on location around the country.

“However, we haven’t as yet concluded this year’s annual pay negotiations so these will change.”