This article was originally published in 2017 and last updated in May 2024.


Supermarket wages became a hot topic in the pandemic, as staff helped ensure safety on top of their regular duties, and now rampant inflation has intensified competition between major retailers to recruit. So how much do hourly rates differ across the top retailers? 

Pay and benefits

April 2024 will force retailers to review their pay structures, as the government introduces a new National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage. The living wage increases to £11.44 from £10.42, and is now applicable to all workers over the age of 21, where previously it had applied to workers over the age of 23. 

Minimum wages for younger workers have also been boosted from £5.28 for under 18s and apprentices to £6.40. And from £7.49 to £8.60 for those aged between 18-20.


The hikes represent a 20.4% rise over two years, which will be hard for many retailers to swallow. And, in a landscape where the German-founded discounters Aldi and Lidl have led the pack by a significant margin in recent years, it narrowed the field, and made pay between the major retailers suddenly much more competitive.

The decade before the pandemic saw a gradual erosion of support for staff. The majority of pay increases at the big retailers usually came with caveats about reducing overtime rates, paid breaks or premium rates for bank holidays.

Job perks were also coming under pressure. In 2014, there was uproar when Asda stripped out staff canteens from stores and replaced them with vending machines. This reached an even greater fervour two years later, when even the vending machines were pulled.


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Who pays best?

With the introduction of £12.40 base rates to be introduced in June 2024, Aldi and Lidl are set to become the highest paying of the supermarkets.

However, Aldi falls behind on the list of employee perks. Though it does ensure employees’ breaks are paid, it doesn’t offer its colleagues a discount in store, a bonus scheme or discounted meals.

Who pays worst?

Morrisons is lagging behind its competitors. Morrisons’ hourly pay starts at the National Living Wage for its staff outside London, £11.44. Asda also pays the NLW, though it has plans to boost its starting figure to £12.04 from July 2024.

Inside the M25, Morrisons offers an 85p/hour location supplement, taking the total to £12.29, while Asda pays London-based employees £12.28.

So, where do employee pay and perks stand now?

Supermarkets are paying more than ever before. Below we take a look at their most recent wage announcements, as well as the perks offered by each retailer.


Source: Aldi

*£12.40/hour (£13.65 within the M25)

As of 1 June 2024, the minimum hourly entry level rate for Aldi store workers rises from £12 to £12.40 nationally. Inside the M25, it rises from £13.55 to £13.65. Aldi also offers paid breaks, which it says are worth an additional £900 a year to the average store worker. 

* Rates effective from June 2024

Asda fish counter

*£12.04 (£13.21 in London)  

From 1 July 2024, the entry-level hourly rate for Asda store workers rises from £11.44 to £12.04 nationally and from £12.28 to £13.21 inside the M25.

Asda says its benefits include a private GP service, unlimited mental health support and flexible wage services through Wagestream. It also offers 10% discounts to employees in stores, with up to 30% on insurance, tyres, pharmacy services and Asda mobile.

* Rates effective from July 2024

staff communication coop

*£12 (£13.15 in London)

From 1 April 2024, the Co-op’s minimum hourly rate for customer team members rises from £10.90 to £12 nationally and from £12.25 to £13.15 in London.

The Co-ops says it offers 20% off selected Co-op own brand products plus 10% off branded products, as well as discounts on its other services such as insurance, legal services and funeral care.

* Rates effective from April 2024

iceland clapham

£11.50 (£12.65 within M25)

In April 2024, Iceland Foods was advertising store roles paid at £9.50 an hour. For employees over the age of 21, the retailer says it pays £11.50, 6p above the NLW, and £12.65 for employees in London.


lidl staff

*£12.40/hour (£13.65 within the M25)

From June 2024, entry level hourly pay for Lidl store and warehouse workers inside the M25 is due to rise to £13.55, up from £13.55, giving staff their third raise of 2024. For those across the rest of the country, the rate will rise to £12.40, up from £12.

Where rival Aldi offers no discount to colleagues, Lidl offers a 10% discount card to staff. It also promises employees heading off on a form of parental leave a baby gift full of Lidl’s range of baby products.

* Rates effective from June 2024

Marks & Spencers milk fridges

*£12 (£13.15 in London)

From 1 April 2024Marks & Spencer’s hourly rate for store assistants rises from £10.90 to £12.00 nationally and from £12.05 to £13.15 in London.

The retailer also offers free meals to staff, as well as 20% discounts on its products and interest-free finance on tech products. 

* Rates effective from April 2024

Morrisons Staff Worker Flowers

£11.44/hour (£12.29 in London)

Morrisons’ pay was bumped up from a minimum of £10.42 an hour nationally and £11.05 in London with the introduction of the new National Living Wage in April 2024. The retailer says it pays all employees at least £11.44 per hour, regardless of age. Meanwhile, employees in London receive an 85p supplement.

The company also offers discounted meals, a 15% discount for staff, plus a 10% discount for a nominated member of their family or friend up to a £1,000 cap. 


sainsburys bromley online store

*£12/hour (£13.15 in London)

From March 2024, Sainsbury’s minimum hourly rate for shopworkers will be £12 an hour nationally and £13.15 an hour in London. The previous rate was £11 nationally and £11.95 in London. 

Sainsbury’s also offers staff 10% discounts in Sainsbury’s, Argos and Habitat and an annual bonus scheme.

* Rates effective from March 2024

Tesco fish counter

*£12.02 (£13.15 in London)

From April 2024, Tesco store workers will receive £12.02 an hour nationally, up from £11.02. Workers within the M25 will receive £13.15 an hour.

Tesco’s discounts programme offers colleagues 10% off in Tesco and One Stop stores as standard, with additional discounts around pay day up to a £2,000 limit. It offers further discounts of up to 50% on its pharmacy, F&F, Tesco Mobile, Vision Express and Tesco Bank insurance. 

It says it also pays a Sunday premium for colleagues who joined before 24 July 2022, boosting pay by 10% per hour worked on a Sunday.

* Rates effective from April 2024


£11.55 (£12.89 in London) 

Waitrose pays store staff £11.55 an hour nationally, while those inside the M25 receive at least £12.89.

Its discount scheme gives employees 25% off in John Lewis (12% off electrical products, with some exceptions) and 20% in Waitrose. JLP also offers staff a bonus as an share-out of profit determined by the group’s performance. The 2021/22 bonus was 3% of pay.

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