The new pay rates are significantly higher than the government’s national living wage of £7.20 an hour, which will take effect from April 2016.
Around 5,000 workers will benefit from the new rate, particularly its stock assistants and caretakers, which represents a salary rise of around 16 percent. More than 400 jobs are promised by supermarket group Aldi with the opening of seven new stores next year.
“The economic climate has shifted”.”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”, said Matthew Barnes, Aldi UK & Ireland chief executive.
The revised wage will make Aldi the highest payer among all supermarket companies. They are also above the current voluntary rates recommended by the Living Wage Foundation, which are presently set at £7.85 an hour in the UK and £9.15 an hour in London.
Lidl has also said that employees will get at least £8.20 an hour, although without paid lunchtimes.
Aldi opened its 600th store in the UK this month and is on track to achieve its target of 1,000 stores by 2022, with plans to recruit 35,000 more people.
Already credited for its treatment of staff and generous wages, the German discounter Aldi has pledged to increase minimum rates of staff wages further. Part of the reason Aldi can afford to pay more is because it has fewer staff per store.
Starting in January next year, Aldi says it plans to recruit and train over 600 apprentices over an 18-month period. According to MT’s back-of-a-napkin calculations, Aldi presently employs around 43 people per store, compared to 89 for Tesco and a whopping 134 for Sainsbury’s.
The move might seem at odds with Aldi’s normal modus operandi of keeping costs to an absolute minimum, but it is, if nothing else, a great PR move.