Sainsburys local

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Sainsbury’s was hit with a shareholder resolution last week that called on it to become living wage accredited

Sainsbury’s is increasing pay for store staff following pressure from investors.

The supermarket today said it would pay the real living wage and London living wage to all Sainsbury’s and Argos store workers.

The move follows a shareholder resolution filed by some of the UK’s biggest investors last week, calling on the company to become an accredited living wage employer.

The majority of Sainsbury’s colleagues have already received at least the real or London living wage since March, after the business announced earlier this year it was increasing its basic hourly pay rate for all store staff to £10 an hour.

However, ShareAction – the stakeholder coalition that filed the resolution last week – pointed out its rate of £10.50 for workers in outer London was still “considerably lower” than the real living wage for that region (£11.05).

Sainsbury’s has now told its outer London staff they will see an increase in their base rate of pay from £10.50 per hour to £11.05.

“Our strategy is about investing in what matters most for both customers and colleagues,” said Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts.

“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.

“We are proud to pay the real living wage and the London living wage in inner London and we have been spending a lot of time considering how we can help our customers and colleagues as the cost of living crisis intensifies.

“We are always looking at what more we can do and have therefore decided to increase pay rates for outer London to £11.05 so that Sainsbury’s and Argos retail colleagues are paid the real living wage and London living wage from May.

“We will continue to listen to the views of all our stakeholders as we balance delivering for customers, colleagues, communities and shareholders. We are committed to paying above the national minimum wage and, when setting pay each year, will consider the real living wage, London living wage, the national living wage, competitor pay and the financial performance of the business.”

Sainsbury’s pay move follows Tesco’s announcement on Thursday (7 April) of a new 5.8% raise pay for staff agreed with the Usdaw union. The agreement will see the hourly rate for staff increase from £9.55 to £10.10 from 24 July .

The Living Wage Foundation’s director, Katherine Chapman, said the pay rises announced by both retailers were “fantastic news for staff battling with the rising cost of living”.

”The pandemic made clear the vital role that supermarket workers play in keeping our country fed and it’s great to see employers stepping up to support their staff through this emerging crisis in living standards. It’s never been more important for workers to earn a wage that keeps pace with living costs.

”The prize to be the first Living Wage accredited supermarket is still there for the taking - it would be fantastic to see a major supermarket take this step to guarantee the Living Wage for contracted workers, joining the network of nearly 10,000 Living Wage employers.”