Lidl promise 'real' Living Wage
Lidl have announced they are the first supermarket in Northern Ireland to promise their staff the 'real' Living Wage.
Wages for one in 10 Lidl employees are set to increase by 25p in March next year to £9 an hour, with the remaining workers already earning a higher sum.
This follows a recommendation from the Living Wage Foundation, who offer independent advice to employers, and say £9 has become the real cost of living in Northern Ireland.
This is £1.17 higher than the Government-set National Living Wage of £7.83.
Lidl are also joined by 15 other local employers accredited by the Living Wage Foundation.
The higher rate of pay will benefit employees across Lidl's 38 stores and distribution centre in Nutt's Corner.
Conor Boyle is Lidl Northern Ireland's regional director. "Lidl was proud to champion the Living Wage in Northern Ireland," he said.
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"Our people are central to our success. They look after our customers, drive our operations and support our communities. It is important for us to reward them, not just with market-leading rates, but also by creating an environment where their holistic needs and well-being are prioritised."
In the Republic, Lidl Ireland has also committed to match the rate of €11.90 recommended by the Living Wage Technical Group.
The other local employers committed to the living wage are Ulster Bank, Abco, Alternative Heat, Ark Housing, Arroll, Belfast Cleaning Society, the Cuan cafe, DTNI, East Belfast Community Development Agency, the baby clothing company, Love To Be Natural, Co-Ownership housing, Onesource virtual, Quaker Service, Richer Sounds Ireland and Heinrich Hertz.
The Living Wage Foundation has estimated 180,000 workers across the UK will benefit from their new recommendation. More than 4,700 employers have signed up to increasing their pay, from football clubs and banks to universities and retailers.
The statutory living wage is also set to increase to £8.21 an hour next April for workers aged 25 and over.