Sainsbury’s has revealed a new £25 million plan to help their lowest paid store-workers deal with the rising cost of living.
Starting October, 127,000 hourly workers will get a 25p an hour pay rise, increasing their pay to £10.25 an hour with London staff earning £11.30.
As well as a pay increase, store-workers will also be getting free food during their shifts as well as increased in-store discounts.
The new pay rise increases the company’s wage bills to £150 million annually., and combined with millions of pounds being used to keep food prices down, will leave a mark on Sainsbury’s profits.
Simon Roberts, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said: “Every day I am hearing from colleagues who are really feeling the pressures of the rising cost of living,
“That’s why we are doing everything we can to help our colleagues as they face rising bills and living costs this autumn. This is the first time we have given two pay rises in the same year.”
The 25p pay rise will cost Sainsbury’s £20 million, and an additional £5 million will be used to provide its employees with free food such as toast, soup and porridge.
As well as a pay rise and free food, the employee discounts, which are currently at 10% at Sainsbury’s and its partner store Argo’s, will be increased to 15% and 20% in time for Christmas shopping.
Roberts adds: “We had a debate over whether we should leave this until next year or bring forward some of this now, given the challenges of the autumn and winter ahead,
“We have 127,000 people that get up every day, often in the middle of the night, to get our stores and operations ready for customers. We need to support them as we go into this winter period. Therefore we made the choice to bring forward this pay increase to now.”
Sainsbury’s has invested £65 million to keep food prices competitive as part of a two year plan to keep costs down during the increasing energy bill costs and the rising inflation.
“Prices are going up slower at Sainsbury’s than at any of our competitors and that means our volumes are increased,” Roberts said.
“The comparison between prices at Sainsbury’s and prices at Aldi have never been so close as they are now. Customers are choosing to do more of their shopping with us as they get confident that the prices of everyday products like fruit, vegetables, chicken, dairy and bread, which are really strong.”