Supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has increased the pay of 127,000 hourly paid employees to at least £11 per hour, in a policy that will be effective from February.
As part of a £205 million investment, hourly retail pay at Sainsbury’s and Argos have been increased from £10.25 to £11.00 per hour, and from £11.30 to £11.95 per hour in London, which exceeds the government national living wage rates due to be implemented in April.
This is on top of the £20 million invested in October, and aims to recognise the hard work of employees. The supermarket also brought forward its annual pay increase by a month to support its workers with the rising costs of living.
Sainsbury’s also extended free food during shifts for store and depot staff by a further six months due to its popularity.
In addition, the employer introduced longer and bigger discounts for Argos employees, which so far included a 15% Sainsbury’s discount throughout December, an extra discount at Argos on select days in the run-up to Christmas, and a £15 Sainsbury’s voucher. They additionally have access to Salary Finance’s Pay Advance scheme.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “We are acutely aware of how tough things are for millions of households this winter and we know that particularly after Christmas, budgets will be tighter than ever. As well as doing all we can to keep prices low for customers, it’s our job to support our colleagues as they face rising costs. That’s why we are bringing forward the increase and committing a total of £205 million to increase pay to at least £11 per hour this year.
“This is a massive investment that reflects the real challenges our people are facing right now. I’m really pleased that the progress we are making against our strategy means that we can continue to prioritise investing in colleagues to reward them for the fantastic service they deliver every day.”