Aldi, the German discount which has increased its revenues by more than 15% in the past three months is putting wages up too.
On Monday, Aldi announced it will increase wages beyond Chancellor George Osborne’s new £7.20 per hour national minimum wage, to become the best paying supermarket in the UK.
Aldi is going to pay all of its staff — regardless of their age — a minimum of £8.40 per hour from February 2016, putting it not just ahead of the government’s limits, but also well above its competitors in terms of how much it gives its employees.
Aldi’s UK & Ireland chief executive, Matthew Barnes said “Just as Aldi won’t be beaten on the low prices of our products, we are also committed to offering the best pay and benefits in the industry.”
Of the other major supermarkets in the UK, Sainsbury’s has already committed to paying staff a minimum of £7.36 along with perks like paid breaks and free food. Lidl has also said that employees will get at least £8.20 an hour, although without paid lunchtimes. Morrison’s staff are also going to get at least £8.20 an hour.
Tesco, still by far Britain’s biggest supermarket, has yet to make any announcement on plans to increase wages, but according to the Daily Telegraph, it is negotiating with unions about putting employee pay up.
But Aldi’s announcement means that it will pay staff at least 20p per hour more than any of its competitors. In London, the minimum Aldi staff will get is £9.45 per hour, higher than the government’s £9.15 London living wage.
The changes in Aldi’s pay structure mean that entry level employees who work as caretakers and stock assistants, will get a bump of 16% in their pay, while store assistants will see 3% more in their pay packet every month. The company says that about 5,000 of the 28,000 people it employs in the UK will get a pay bump.
The wage announcement is especially good news for Aldi staff who are under 25. George Osborne’s new national minimum wage will only apply to staff 25 or over, but the German firm will pay staff the same, regardless of their age.
Aldi’s move means that younger staff working at the supermarket could be earning nearly £5 per hour more than minimum wage of £3.87 for workers under the age of 18. Staff between 18 and 20 will earn £3.10 per hour above the minimum level set by the government.
Recently, Aldi — along with its big rival, Lidl — have been killing the competition in the growing war between British supermarkets. Both stores have been consistently growing their revenues recently, and are eating into the market share of the traditional ‘big four’ — Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda. A report last week from Kantar Worldpanel showed that Aldi has now overtaken Waitrose to be the UK’s sixth biggest supermarket.
The company now employs around 28,000 people, and this year opened a 600th UK store in Cardiff.