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Sainsbury’s rises hourly pay for its 120,000 workers

sign above a Sainsbury's branch in Leeds city centre

Sainsbury's will up staff pay from March, intensifying the ongoing competition among supermarkets to retain employees. 

The retail giant will boost the minimum hourly wage for staff outside London to £12, while those in the capital will receive £13.15. 

This hike ensures all Sainsbury's employees will be compensated at the voluntary Real Living Wage, surpassing the mandatory National Living Wage. 

Approximately 120,000 workers would benefit from this increase.

Currently, Sainsbury's employees outside London receive £11 per hour, and those in London earn £11.95 per hour. 

The National Living Wage is expected to reach £11.44 per hour in April 2024, including 21 and 22-year-olds for the first time.

However, Sainsbury's move will result in its employees earning an additional 56p per hour compared to the government-mandated minimum wage. 

Workers will see the pay rise a month earlier than the official rate implementation.

Last year, Sainsbury's made a similar move by increasing its staff wages to £11 per hour, partly in response to wage hikes by other supermarkets. 

Over the past year, Aldi paid its employees £11.40 per hour outside London and £12.85 in the capital.

Similarly, Tesco's hourly rates were £11.02 outside London and £11.95 in London.

Despite the positive reception from workers, some businesses express concerns about the impact on their profit margins, especially amid ongoing high operational costs. 

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality, said the government’s minimum pay rise last year served as "a reminder that although government announces it, it is businesses who deliver it and why it is so vital other action is taken to reduce tax and costs, particularly [business] rates".

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