Sainsbury's hikes pay amid cost of living crisis

·2-min read
Sainsbury's hikes pay amid cost of living crisis
Sainsbury's lifted pay after shareholder pressure. Photo: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Sainsbury's (SBRY.L) has said it is raising the pay for some of its London staff after pressure from investors over the cost of living.

The supermarket said it will pay the real living wage for all staff, making it the first major supermarket to do so.

Workers at Sainsbury’s and Argos stores in outer London will be paid the same £11.05 hourly rate as inner London colleagues, a boost of 55p, from next month.

Simon Roberts, CEO of Sainsbury’s, said: “Our strategy is about investing in what matters most for both customers and colleagues. We know times are tough for everyone.

“That’s why we were one of the first in the industry to pay over the real living wage at £10 per hour and brought forward the announcement of our annual pay review to early January, as we wanted to help colleagues plan and manage the cost of living in the year ahead.”

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Although Sainsbury's has boosted pay for its employees, the supermarket has made no commitment relating to the pay of third-party staff, such as cleaners and security guards.

Wage increases follow pressure from campaign group ShareAction. The group announced plans to bring a vote on introducing the living wage at Sainsbury’s AGM in July.

“Despite official recognition of their status as key workers during the pandemic, supermarket workers continue to be one of the largest groups of low paid workers in the UK,” ShareAction said.

The pay raise comes as the supermarket announced it would cut 300 roles across its food commercial, finance operations and HR departments, outsourcing the jobs instead.

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The plans affect staff at its central offices in Manchester, Holborn in London and Ansty in Warwickshire.

Tesco (TSCO.L) has also announced that it will hike hourly wages by 5.8% from £9.55 to £10.10. Lidl, Aldi and Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) already pay the relevant real living wage.

The real living wage is currently £11.05 in London and £9.90 for the rest of the UK.

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