Sainsbury’s has raised pay for its staff again and offered free food during shifts as part of a new £25 million package for its shop, warehouse and customer service workers.
The supermarket, which also owns the Argos brand, will spend £20 million on pay increases, giving 127,000 hourly paid staff a 25p per hour increase from next month.
It means that Sainsbury’s and Argos hourly pay will rise from £10.00 to £10.25 and from £11.05 to £11.30 per hour in London, and marks the second pay rise for staff this year.
The support package includes free basic food items for workers from the first week in October until the end of December to help staff facing cost of living pressures.
Workers will also receive increased discounts of between 15% and 20% at Sainsbury’s and Argos in the run-up to Christmas.
When will the new pay take effect?
The new pay rates will come into effect from 16 October and will not affect the timing of the next annual pay review, which will go ahead in the new financial year.
Sainsbury’s said the latest pay increase means frontline workers will have seen a 7.9% pay rise over the year.
The pay rise will bring investment by Sainsbury’s into staff pay this year to £150 million.
Sainsbury’s CEO Simon Roberts said: “Every day, I am hearing from colleagues who are really feeling the pressures of the rising cost of living.
“That’s why we are doing everything we can to help our colleagues as they face rising bills and living costs this autumn by investing £25 million into a package of support, including an early pay increase.
“This is the first time we have given two pay rises in the same year.”
The company aded: “The free food will ensure that colleagues can have something to eat while they are at work and the longer and deeper discounts will help colleagues plan and manage their budgets through the autumn and in the run up to Christmas.”
The company’s cost of living package comes a day after Sainsbury’s confirmed it would be among major retailers to shut stores on Monday 19 September due to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.