Aldi pledges to increase workers' wages to £8.40 an hour

Aldi will pay its workers a minimum of 8.40 an hour from February 1 next year.
Aldi will pay its workers a minimum of 8.40 an hour from February 1 next year.

Supermarket Aldi has pledged to increase staff wages to a minimum rate of £8.40 per hour.

The company has confirmed that all of its UK employees will be paid at least £8.40 an hour, and £9.45 an hour in London, from February 1 next year.

Aldi is the latest in a string of supermarkets to announce pay hikes for staff.

Morrisons recently said that from March, it will increase hourly staff pay to £8.20, from a previous minimum of £6.83.

Lidl has also recently introduced wage increases, paying staff a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales and £9.35 an hour in London. Its move will cost it £9 million.

Aldi has said it will not need to raise prices to fund its move, which will also see it raise the minimum hourly rate of pay for employees in the Republic of Ireland to 11.50 euro.

Aldi already pays all its store assistants at least £8.15 an hour and more than £9 per hour on average.

Unlike some other supermarkets, Aldi also gives employees paid breaks.

The company opened its 600th UK store earlier this month, in Cardiff.

It has also announced plans to recruit and train more than 600 apprentices over an 18-month period starting in January 2016, to support its UK expansion.

Aldi said it is on track to achieve a target of 1,000 stores by 2022 and plans to recruit 35,000 more people.

Matthew Barnes, Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive officer, said: "The success of Aldi in the UK and Ireland has been driven by the commitment, hard work and ambition of our employees, and we will continue to maintain our leading position on pay."

The National Living Wage announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his summer budget will see all workers aged 25 and over paid £7.20 an hour from next April, rising to £9 from 2020.

Maureen Hinton, group research director at retail research agency Conlumino, recently said wages are a "big topic" for the supermarkets.

She said that with a price war already raging between supermarkets in the battle for customers' business, their actions over staff wages are another way of giving them an edge from a marketing point of view.