Lidl Ireland becomes first Irish employer to commit to 2023 Living Wage to support employees amid cost-of-living crisis
Lidl Ireland, the first major nationwide employer to commit to paying the Living Wage in 2015, has once again become the first large employer to commit to the latest rate of €13.85 as recommended by the Living Wage Technical Group for 2023. The company will invest €7.5 million to introduce this change that will benefit 4,200 employees across Ireland, as all other employees currently earn in excess of the new Living Wage. The Living Wage is an independently assessed and recommended rate of income considered necessary to have a socially acceptable standard of living.
This is the second increase to pay rates that Lidl has announced this year and is in recognition of the ongoing hard work and dedication of store and warehouse colleagues, particularly as the cost-of-living crisis continues. This latest pledge by Lidl to adopt the living wage for 2023 will directly benefit more than 4,200 Lidl colleagues across the country, with a full-time colleague impacted by this increase earning approximately €1,500 more a year. Employees will benefit from the new living wage level from the 1st March 2023.
This announcement comes on the back of a €10 million investment by the company in March of this year which saw all 5,000 employees receive a pay rise. In total, across the 12 months from March 2022 to March 2023 Lidl will have invested €17.5 million in pay increases across the organisation.
Announcing Lidl’s commitment to pay the latest Living Wage, Maeve McCleane, Chief People Officer at Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, said: “Our most important asset is our people and now more than ever before, it is vitally important that we deliver on our responsibility to support our employees to overcome the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis as best we can. Our latest commitment to adopt the recommended Living Wage for 2023, for the seventh year in a row, will mean a second pay rise announced for more than 84% of our employees in less than 12 months.”
“At Lidl, we’ve prioritised building not only an exceptional place to work, but also an inclusive, rewarding and fulfilling culture for our employees with industry leading initiatives including paid fertility leave, the removal of the mandatory retirement age and our compassionate leave policy. We can see clear evidence that we continue to be an employer of choice for Irish workers with just over 92,000 applications in 2021 versus 76,000 pre pandemic in 2019. In the current climate the most important thing for us as an employer is that we are playing our part in providing secure and well-paid jobs, that reward employees and provide financial security in a world of ever-increasing financial strain.”
Amidst the cost-of-living crisis, Lidl continues to support employees with competitive compensation and benefits packages in the industry as well as creating an environment where their colleagues’ holistic needs are prioritised. The retailer is well known for its industry-leading initiatives designed to ensure its employee’s wellbeing is top of mind. Lidl’s efforts have been recognised at an industry level with the retailer being awarded a Top Employer certification in 2022 for the second year in a row.
Current employee benefits provided by Lidl Ireland include:
- Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave: Lidl Ireland is the only supermarket to offer paid maternity as well as paternity leave to all employees across the country
- Paid Fertility Leave: In April 2022, Lidl announced the introduction of Fertility Leave for Lidl employees who are undergoing IVF fertility treatments. These employees are offered two days at full pay per cycle, regardless of length of service. There is no limit to the number of cycles for which employees can avail of the policy.
- Removal of Mandatory Retirement Age: Lidl became the first large employer in Ireland to support employees who wish to work past the age of 65 by removing the mandatory retirement age of 65 from contracts.
- Compassionate Leave for Early Pregnancy Loss and Miscarriage: Lidl became the first company across the region to extend its Compassionate Leave policy to include three days at full pay to all employees who have experienced or been affected by early pregnancy loss and miscarriage. This extends to all employees, regardless of gender, including those with a surrogate mother.
- Menopause Supports: Lidl have launched a support guide for employees and line managers to better understand the impact menopause can have on an individual, in partnership with The Menopause Hub. This includes expert advice and pay for a consultation for the employee.
- Flexible Contracts: Like many retail businesses a high proportion of employees are on part-time contracts for various reasons from flexibility to operational requirements. Lidl offers contracts with a minimum of 30 hours to all store and warehouse employees to facilitate their changing needs.
- Employee Assistance Programme: A free, confidential counselling service is offered by Lidl to employees through Laya Healthcare’s Employee Assistance Programme. It offers support to Lidl employees and their families by providing immediate help and guidance in managing whatever work or personal issues they are facing.
- Paid Volunteering: Lidl provides all employees with the opportunity to take part in a paid Volunteer Day each year. Employees are encouraged to spend a day volunteering with charities in their local communities.
- Comprehensive Training Programmes: Employees benefit from extensive training and development opportunities which have enabled over 40% of our current store management to progress through the company having initially started as Customer Assistants.
- Pension contributions after one year with the company.
- Paid health insurance for salaried employees.
Lidl Ireland employs more than 5,000 employees in its 175 stores, Head Office in Tallaght and three distribution centres and regional offices based in Charleville, Mullingar and Newbridge.