UK supermarket Aldi said all 30,000 of its store assistants will get a pay rise when it boosts its minimum hourly rates from 1 February to recognise their contribution, as supermarkets come under fire for how much their employees earn.
Aldi will pay a minimum hourly rate of £9.55 ($13) nationally, up from £9.40. Those working in London, within the M25, will earn £11.07 an hour instead of £10.90.
Those who have been working for three years will be able to earn up to £10.57. Londoners can earn up to £11.32 after two years.
Aldi UK CEO Giles Hurley said “I want to express my sincere thanks to every single Aldi colleague who stepped up when it mattered and helped us succeed in our most important mission of all – feeding the nation.”
“It has never been more important to ensure that our colleagues are rewarded fully for their immense contribution during a challenging period for everyone,” he added.
The new rates “are also boosted by the fact that Aldi is still one of the only UK supermarkets to pay for breaks taken during shifts, which means Aldi colleagues remain the best-paid in the sector,” the retailer said in a statement.
“When paid breaks are included, Aldi’s minimum hourly pay rate for store colleagues, based on an average six-hour shift, will be £10.11,” it added.
The pay rise follows bonuses that were awarded to store colleagues in April and December 2020, in recognition of their efforts throughout the pandemic, it said.
Aldi has more than 900 stores in the UK and is aiming for 1,200 stores by 2025. It plans to recruit more than 4,000 store-level positions this year.
The company said its new minimum hourly rates exceed the Living Wage Foundation’s recommended real living wage rates of £9.50 an hour nationally and £10.85 an hour inside the M25.
The news follows a report by Citizens UK from last week that said almost half (45%) of all workers at major retailers including Morrisons (MRW.L), Tesco (TSCO.L), Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) and Ocado (OCDO.L), paid their workers less than the “real living wage” in April 2020.
The study said some 410,000 supermarket workers earned below the real living wage, which currently stands at £9.50 per hour in the UK outside of London and £10.85 per hour inside of London.
According to the Living Wage Foundation, the real living wage is the only UK wage rate that is voluntarily paid by 7,000 UK businesses who believe their staff deserve a wage which meets everyday needs, like the weekly shop.
Around the same time, Morrisons said it is set to become the first UK supermarket to guarantee pay of at least £10 an hour to all store staff.
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