United Kingdom

Sainsbury's dishes out pay rises for all supermarket staff

Sainsbury's is hiking wages for staff at its supermarkets and Argos stores and will pay another bonus to its frontline workers.   

Workers at the supermarket currently receive £9.30 an hour, while Argos workers receive £9 an hour. Their pay packets will rise to £9.50 an hour from March.  

Staff at central London stores will see their hourly pay rise to £10.10.

A 3 per cent annual bonus will also be paid out to staff, meaning a full-time worker will take home an extra £530 for the year.

Pay boost: Sainsbury's is hiking pay packets for staff at its supermarkets and Argos stores

The announcement from Sainsbury's comes after Lidl announced a £200 bonus for 23,000 UK workers, Aldi revealed wages will rise to a minimum of £9.55 an hour and Morrisons said workers at its stores will take home at least £10 an hour from April.

Supermarkets have been one of the biggest winners during the pandemic, remaining open throughout and enjoying surging sales while 'non-essential' retailers flounder. 

The latest pay rise from Sainsbury's means workers at the retailer have seen their pay packets rise by 24 per cent in the last five years. 

The bonus is the third since the pandemic and means the company has dished out over £100million in extra cash to workers.

Open throughout: Supermarkets have been one of the biggest winners during the pandemic

The supermarket implemented a 10 per cent pay boost between March and April last year and a second boost of 10 per cent for four weeks in November.

Back in March, Sainsbury's also hiked pay for store staff to £9.30 per hour, while pay for workers in central London, namely Zones 1 and 2 on the London Underground map, received £9.90 per hour.

Sainsbury's and other supermarkets had faced criticism earlier in the crisis when attention appeared to be focused on doling out dividends to shareholders from the bumper profits generated during the pandemic.

But several supermarkets agreed to hand back cash saved from business rates holidays, increased pay rates, paid bonuses and agreed to Boxing Day holidays before making the dividend payments.

Clodagh Moriarty, retail and digital director at Sainsbury's, said: 'In the last 12 months our frontline colleagues have shown outstanding commitment to our customers.

'In recognition of everything they have achieved, we are giving them a pay rise, plus an additional one-off payment.'

In November, Sainsbury's announced plans to axe 3,500 jobs. The group will close 420 Argos outlets and shut down all its supermarket meat, fish and deli counters.

Rival: Sainsbury's faces hefty competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl 

The 420 standalone Argos stores will shut by March 2024, but Sainsbury's said it would open 150 Argos outlets in its supermarkets.

Boss Simon Roberts said Sainsbury's was responding to shifting shopper habits and the growing popularity of online shopping.

At the same time in November, Sainsbury's posted a half-year loss of £137million, blaming market changes and closures. 

Sainsbury's has faced mounting competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl in recent years and has vowed to cut prices for shoppers.

Earlier this month, Sainsbury's said it would slash the cost of hundreds of essential groceries to match rival Aldi. 

Shares in Sainsbury's are up 1 per cent or 2.30p to 231.80p a present. A year ago, the company's share price was 203.50p.  

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