The wage increase will see Sainsbury’s provide its store employees with a standard rate of £7.36 per hour, which the supermarket was keen to highlight exceeds the government’s national living wage target of £7.20 for April 2016.
Interestingly the government’s £7.20 target is for over 25s, but the new Sainsbury’s hourly rate will be across the board and also apply to team members under 25s, though under 18s are to initially receive an introductory rate during the first six months of employment.
The company has spent much of this year with a focus on digital innovations to lead future sales. In April it announced a plan to create almost 500 specialist technology roles and a London lab, which coincided with cutting other office based support jobs, followed by a profit fall in May.
“Retail is a vibrant sector for innovation and this team is key to keeping our fast-paced business running, “ said Jon Rudoe, director of digital and technology at Sainsbury’s. “We’re structuring and equipping entrepreneurial teams to improve the digital experience and develop products that will help make our customers’ lives easier.”
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In addition to the pay increase, Sainsbury’s took the opportunity to highlight that it also pays colleagues for breaks – unlike its rival Tesco. It means that although Tesco offers an hourly rate of £7.39, full-time colleagues will earn more at Sainsbury’s with an average rate of £287.04 compared to £269.74 at Tesco.
Elsewhere, the firm touted its pension, life insurance, discount card and annual bonus, which resulted in 133,000 colleagues receiving £50m collectively, as other factors that make it a standout employer.
Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s CEO, said: “We’re delighted to announce a four per cent pay increase for the colleagues who work in our stores across the country. We know what a difference they make to our customers each and every day and we’re totally committed to rewarding them well for the great service they provide.
“I’ve talked to thousands of colleagues over the past year and they tell me how much they value their package of benefits and the flexibility that we can offer as an employer, as well as hourly pay which has always been well over the minimum wage. Their hard work, talent and dedication have been central to our success and will remain so in the future.”
In April, reputable retailer John Lewis was named the most wanted brand for job seekers, followed by Marks & Spencer, but Sainsbury’s is seemingly out to compete with this new campaign.