Lidl has announced a pay rise for entry-level staff and says it will become the UK’s highest paying supermarket, as labour shortages in the food supply chain continue.

In a statement, Lidl has promised an entry-level pay rise from £9.50 to £10.10 per hour outside of London and £10.85 to £11.35 within the M25, with staff earning up to £11.40 and £12.25 respectively, depending on length of service. As a result of the increase, Lidl employees will benefit from 60p per hour more than the National Living Wage (for over 23s).

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that job vacancies rose to a new record high in October. Companies in the retail and food processing sectors have particularly struggled to fill jobs.

The £18 million investment also represents a pay rise of over 6% for some employees and will directly benefit over 21,000 Lidl colleagues across the country, which equates to over 80% of its workforce.

Plans for further growth

Christian Härtnagel, chief executive officer at Lidl GB, said: “At Lidl, our frontline colleagues are the backbone of our business. They have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months of the Covid-19 crisis and are integral to our future success. We have ambitious plans to grow our business across Great Britain, and to do that we need to ensure we attract and look after the best talent at every level of our business.”

The wage increase, which aims to come into effect from the new financial year in March 2022, forms part of the discounter’s wider plans to invest £1.3 billion in Great Britain, in 2021 and 2022, alongside a 1,000 stores target by the end of 2023.