LONDON, Sept 22 (Reuters) – German-owned discount supermarket Lidl GB has followed rivals in raising hourly pay rates for the second time this year as competition heats up to attract and retain staff in a tight labour market amid a cost of living crisis.
The retailer said on Thursday it would pay workers outside of London a minimum of 10.90 pounds ($12.3) an hour, up from 10.10 pounds, and workers in London a minimum of 11.95 pounds, up from 11.30 pounds.
The increases, benefiting over 23,500 workers, will take effect on Oct. 1 and cost Lidl GB 39.5 million pounds.
It said the new pay rates represent an increase of 10% to 14.5% compared to this time last year. UK inflation in August was 9.9%.
With Britain’s jobless rate at its lowest since 1974 the Bank of England is watching pay settlements closely as it mulls further rises in interest rates.
Lidl’s move follows rises announced by Marks & Spencer MKS.L on Wednesday and Sainsbury’s SBRY.L last week.
($1 = 0.8852 pounds)
(Reporting by James Davey Editing by William James and Mark Potter)