Aldi has announced its fourth pay rise in just over a year with shop workers to get a minimum of £11.40 an hour from July.
The 3.6% pay rise puts Aldi workers well ahead of the “national living wage”, which will rise to £10.42 next month, and the independently verified real living wage of £10.90.
Aldi, now the UK’s fourth biggest supermarket, with 990 stores and about 40,000 staff, said the latest rise, which will benefit 28,000 workers, took its total investment in pay to more than £100m over the past 12 months. The pay rise for July was announced only weeks after their pay rose to £11 an hour last month.
The July pay rise sets a new bar for supermarkets after Tesco said it would pay workers a minimum of £11.02 an hour from next month, while Asda has promised employees £11.10 from July. Aldi upped pay for store staff in January to at least £11 an hour – the third increase in a year.
Aldi is also the only supermarket to pay for breaks, which for the average store worker is worth an additional £927 annually. The rise for store staff comes after Aldi warehouse workers received a 4% pay rise to a minimum of £13.18 this month.
The supermarket has led the way on pay as it seeks to take on 6,000 more workers this year amid rapid expansion in the UK and heavy competition for staff after Brexit, which has limited the flow of workers from overseas.
The supermarket is opening about one new store a week and is vying with its fellow German-owned discounter Lidl to be the UK’s fastest-growing grocery chain.
Sales at Aldi and Lidl have soared by more than 20% as they benefit from a switch to the discounters as hard-pressed households look for ways to save cash amid rising household bills.
Giles Hurley, the chief executive of Aldi’s UK and Irish business, said: “We believe our colleagues are the best in the sector and we are committed to ensuring they are also the best paid.”
The announcement comes as average wage growth across the UK has failed to keep pace with rising living costs, with workers suffering the biggest real-terms hit to average pay on records going back 20 years.
The rise in living costs has led to strikes at Amazon depots as well as by railway staff, NHS workers, civil servants and teachers in an attempt to secure better pay.
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