Northern Ireland Lidl supermarket workers awarded higher minimum hourly wage
German supermarket giant Lidl will pay its Northern Ireland workers a higher voluntary minimum wage of at least £8.45 an hour.
The chain, which employs around 800 staff across 38 stores here, will introduce the increase in March across the UK.
The move will benefit around a fifth of its workforce who now earn the current minimum of £8.25. The £8.45 is a voluntary minimum hourly wage, higher than the Government's own so-called 'living wage'.
It's the first supermarket here to introduce the minimum. Retail expert Donald McFetridge said the 'big four' supermarkets here may come under pressure to follow suit.
"No doubt, other retailers in the food and other sectors will eventually find themselves in the position of having to follow in Lidl's footsteps in an industry where low pay has been one of its main characteristics," he said.
"It is vitally important to reward retail staff in what has become an increasingly demanding workplace with advances in technology and constant change requiring a skilled workforce."