Sainsbury’s increases pay by the most ever, to £11 per hour, and total investment exceeds £205 million.
Sainsbury’s is kicking off the New Year with its largest-ever investment in pay, at least £11 per hour, totaling $205 million. In addition to the £20 million Sainsbury’s invested in October, this most recent pay increase of £185 million recognizes the extraordinarily diligent work of coworkers. Importantly, Sainsbury’s is delaying its annual pay increase by one month, to February 2023, in order to better support employees as they adjust to the rising cost of living in the upcoming year.
The hourly retail colleague’s pay at Sainsbury’s and Argos will rise from £10.25 to £11.00 and from £11.30 to £11.95 in London, respectively. This increase brings the pay for hourly-paid frontline coworkers to 10% over the past year and 38% over the past six years.
Due to the success of the initiative, Sainsbury’s has also decided to extend free food during shifts for store and depot coworkers by an additional six months. Colleagues have embraced free food as an additional tool to help them manage their tighter budgets.
The increased pay rate exceeds the government’s new National Living Wage rates, and Sainsbury’s has a strong history of being a top employer. Sainsbury’s is now the biggest supermarket to pay employees more than the national living wage and the London living wage.
Additionally, as part of their reward package, Sainsbury’s is offering longer and deeper discounts at Argos for employees, and all employees will continue to enjoy enhanced discounts at Sainsbury’s. All employees received a 15% Sainsbury’s discount throughout December and an additional discount at Argos on specific days in the run-up to Christmas, along with a £15 Sainsbury’s gift card and the implementation of Pay Advance with Salary Finance, to aid in managing their finances and holiday shopping.
The additional colleague investment is being paid for by Sainsbury’s Save to Invest program, which aims to simplify and streamline the company so that it can make investments where they will have the biggest positive impact on customers. Leading pay and benefits are a crucial component of this plan because they help Sainsbury’s achieve its strategic goal of fostering exceptional service.
“We are acutely aware of how difficult things are for millions of households this winter, and we know that, particularly after Christmas, budgets will be tighter than ever,” said Simon Roberts, Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s.
It is our responsibility to support our coworkers as they deal with rising costs, in addition to doing everything in our power to keep prices low for customers. To raise pay to at least £11 per hour this year, we are delaying the increase and committing a total of £205 million. We have increased the colleague discount at Argos and extended the availability of free food during shifts because we are aware of how much colleagues value having a meal at work.
“This is a sizable investment that reflects the genuine difficulties our people are currently experiencing. I’m very happy that we are making progress toward our strategy and can keep placing a high priority on investing in our coworkers in order to thank them for the excellent service they provide every day.
“We continue to work closely with Sainsbury’s on pay, and these successive substantial increases make a significant difference to our members,” said Dave Gill, Usdaw National Officer. We have maintained open communication with Sainsbury’s about the rising cost of living, and we are pleased with how the company has reacted. Our members will be grateful for these extraordinary pay raises, free meals, and additional discounts.
“All workers face enormous financial challenges, and the government still needs to make significant interventions. Even with their proposal, energy costs will have doubled in six months and are expected to rise further. For far too many workers, the cost of living is simply out of reach due to other rising costs.
*The pay increase from £8.00 in September 2017 to £11.00 in January 2023 represents a 38% increase in pay over the previous six years.
The pay increase is anticipated to benefit 127,000 hourly-paid coworkers across local fulfillment centers and retail.