Supermarket giant Morrisons plans to increase its hourly pay rate for store staff to £8.20 an hour from a previous minimum of £6.83.
The £8.20 amount is expected to the rate suggested by the Living Wage Foundation for workers outside of London when it next sets the rate in November. It is the amount that discount supermarket chain Lidl set as its minimum for workers outside of London (it will pay at least £9.35 in London) from October 2015.
While some of the biggest food and drink retailers have now committed to such rates, and the Westminster Government is to enforce a new “National Living Wage” of £7.20 an hour for workers over the age of 25 from April 2016, representative groups covering small and medium sized businesses in food and drink retail including the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, the Association of Convenience Stores and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents have argued that significant increases in minimum wage rates will bring severe difficulties to independent local shops
Morrisons says than 90,000 of its staff will benefit – across all age brackets and that it will mean “an extra investment of more than £40m in the improved hourly pay rate”.
Supplements, such as a premium rates for working on Sunday, will also be simplified under the supermarket firm’s plans.
David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We have been listening to our colleagues who told us they want their pay to be more competitive and simpler.
“By paying a significantly higher hourly rate, we are recognising the contribution of our excellent staff, who are so important to the revival of Morrisons.”
The supermarket firm says the shopworkers’ union Usdaw is supporting the pay move and recommending it to its members.