So what’s stopping the big four?
Lidl is set to pay its staff more than any other supermarket, as it plans to adopt the minimum wage as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation.
The £8.20 hourly rate (£9.35 in London) is the minimum a person needs to cover the basic cost of living in the UK, and it’s different to the government’s national living wage, which begins in April next year and is just £7.20 per hour.
This pay rise will be given to all staff, no matter what their age, and will translate to an extra £1,200 a year on average.
Living Wage Foundation director Rhys Moore, told the BBC: “We are thrilled. We’ve been working with and trying to persuade the retail sector to commit to pay the living wage rates rather than National Minimum Wage [now called the National Living Wage].
“None of the big four supermarkets currently pay the living wage rates, and the BRC [British Retail Consortium] are very behind the curve on this. Lidl is demonstrating this commitment to staff, and customers want to know that they’re shopping in places which treat their staff well.”
In a statement, a spokesperson for the BRC told the BBC: “Whatever approach retailers take to their total reward packages, the real key to raising more people out of low pay will rest in increasing productivity.
“This is an area where there is a lack of detailed evidence and one which we are working on understanding better.”