Lidl workers

Source: Lidl GB

Lidl employees will benefit from the new policies from 1 January 2024

Lidl has announced a raft of new employment benefit enhancements aimed at helping new or expectant parents.

The discounter has doubled the total amount of paid maternity and adoption leave it offers employees, with staff now to be given six months on full pay, up from 14 weeks.

For the first time, Lidl will also now offer paid leave to any employee undergoing fertility treatment. Colleagues will now be entitled to two full days paid leave per fertility treatment cycle, with no limit on the number of cycles in which an employee can make use of the benefit.

Alongside the changes, the retailer has updated its compassionate leave policy. Any parent impacted by pregnancy loss prior to 24 weeks of pregnancy will now be offered five days of fully paid leave. This is on top of the two weeks’ paid leave offered to any employee that experiences pregnancy loss after 24 weeks.

Lidl has also expanded its compassionate leave policy, with employees now entitled to five days’ paid leave on full pay.

All the changes will apply from 1 January 2024 and are in addition to the retailer’s existing sickness policy.

The discounter said it hoped the new “family-focused” update could set a “benchmark” for the wider sector.

Currently, under the government-set statutory maternity leave, new mothers are entitled to 90% of their weekly earnings for the first six weeks after giving birth. They’re then entitled to whichever is the smaller amount between either £172.48 or 90% of their average weekly earnings for the remaining 33-week period. Under shared parental leave guidelines that were introduced in 2015, parents can split a total of 50 weeks leave entitlement, with 37 of them paid, with their partner.

“We’re deeply committed to supporting our colleagues, not just in their professional lives but also through personal milestones and challenges,” said Stephanie Rogers, Lidl chief human resources officer.

“Over the past year, we’ve engaged closely with colleagues to see how we can better support those who are balancing work and family life. Whilst there is always more to be done, these latest enhancements to our family leave policies show our dedication to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace and reinforce our ambition to be a first-choice employer.”

The discounter has been among several supermarkets to roll out enhanced pay employee benefits over the past year amid concerns that the cost of living crisis, and a wider labour shortage, could leave retailers struggling to recruit.

Lidl raised hourly pay for store and warehouse staff on three separate occasions in 2023. The last, in May, saw hourly entry-level pay for London-based workers rise from £11.95 to £12.85. Lidl staff around the rest of the UK saw pay rise to £11.40, from £11 an hour. The rate was equal to a pay rise previously announced by rival Aldi, and came into force from July.