Lidl Northern Ireland pledges to pay real living wage to over 1,000 staff

Lidl Northern Ireland has confirmed that it will raise the hourly wages of over 1,000 staff, around 80% of Lidl Northern Ireland’s workforce, from 1st March 2023 following its commitment to match the real living wage, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. The latest Real Living Wage update sees the entry rate drop from £9.90 to £10.90 per hour.

Lidl Northern Ireland today confirmed it will match the hourly rate of over 1,000 staff, representing an investment of over £1.4m by the retailer in annual wages and its second raise of salary over the past 12 months – with hourly rates rising by £1 as a result.

Northern Ireland’s fastest growing retailer, Lidl Northern Ireland was the first major national employer to pledge to pay real living wages in 2015 and since then has matched the rates year on year.

The real living wage reflects the real cost of living in the UK, which takes into account the main costs of living such as clothing, food, housing, health, education, transport and social costs or recreational.

Higher than the “National Living Wage” set by the government, the Foundation’s recommended level of pay serves as an independent guide for employers. Its adoption is voluntary and organizations are free to choose whether or not to implement it.

Retail Company of the Year, awarded by Business Eye and recognized as a Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute for a second consecutive year in 2022, Lidl Northern Ireland’s competitive salary and extensive benefits ensure the retailer continues to to be a leading employer. Lidl Northern Ireland was also named number 24 in the top 100 Northern Irish companies by Ulster Business magazine last month.

Maeve McCleane, Chief People Officer at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland said:

“Our people have always been central to our success, which is why we continue to ensure that Lidl in Northern Ireland is not only an exceptional place to work, but also offers an inclusive, rewarding and fulfilling culture that is unmatched for each employee. As part of our commitment to our employees, we are delighted to confirm a further salary increase for more than 1,000 team members across the region, which matches the rates advocated by the Living Wage Foundation. Lidl Northern Ireland continually reviews its pay rates to ensure it offers the most competitive pay and benefits to attract, train and retain its best people to serve over 300,000 local shoppers each week.

Lidl Northern Ireland’s generous compensation package adds to several initiatives introduced in recent years to its workforce of more than 1,100 employees in the region. As the company continues to grow rapidly in the market, it continues to share its success with all employees. Current benefits provided by Lidl Northern Ireland include:

· Paid maternity and paternity leave: Lidl Northern Ireland is the only supermarket to offer paid maternity and paternity leave to all employees in the region.

· Compassionate leave for early pregnancy loss and miscarriage: Lidl Northern Ireland has become the first company in the region to extend its compassionate leave policy to include three days on full pay for all employees who have suffered or been affected by early pregnancy loss and miscarriage. This extends to all employees, regardless of gender, including those who have a surrogate.

· Flexible contracts: Like many retail businesses, a high proportion of employees are on part-time contracts for various reasons such as flexibility. Lidl Northern Ireland is committed to offering all employees a standard 30 hour contact with the option to reduce the hours to suit their personal circumstances.

· Covid Bonus Payouts: Lidl Northern Ireland has shared three separate Covid bonus payments to all staff throughout 2020/2021 in recognition of its staff’s efforts during this difficult time, representing an investment of nearly £1million in additional bonus payments.

· Employee Assistance Program: A free and confidential counseling service is offered by Lidl to employees through the Laya Healthcare Employee Assistance Program. It offers support to Lidl employees and their families by providing them with immediate help and advice to manage the professional or personal problems they are facing.

· Paid volunteering: Every year, Lidl Northern Ireland offers all of its employees the opportunity to take part in a paid volunteering day. Employees are encouraged to spend a day volunteering with charities in their local community.

· Complete training programs: Employees benefit from numerous training and development opportunities.

· pension contributions after a year in the company.

· Paid health insurance for employees.

According to the latest figures published by Kantar Worldpanel, Lidl is consistently confirmed as “NI’s fastest growing supermarket” with a 12.6% market share growth over the past two years and a market share 7% in the region’s overall grocery market.

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Michael A. Bynum