Britain’s Sainsbury’s to pay store staff at least £10 an hour

A person walks past a Sainsbury’s store in Milton Keynes, Britain November 5, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

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LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), Britain’s second largest supermarket group and one of the country’s largest private sector employers, will raise the basic hourly pay of its store workers to at least £10 ($13.55) per hour from 9.50 pounds previously.

The group said on Friday the rate would rise from 10.10 pounds to 11.05 pounds for workers in central London and to 10.50 pounds from 9.75 pounds in the outskirts of London.

The rise also concerns workers in the group’s Argos general merchandise business.

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The Bank of England is watching pay deals closely as it considers whether to raise interest rates again.

Sainsbury’s said it was also increasing extra payment rates for drivers – a sector which is facing an acute shortage.

Groceries Online drivers will now be paid £11.50 per hour, with a base rate of £10 per hour plus an additional £1.50 per hour.

Argos Fast Track Delivery drivers will receive £11 per hour based on a base rate of £10 per hour plus an additional £1, compared to 75 pence.

“While demand for online deliveries remains high, this improved salary will help the retailer recruit and retain top talent,” Sainsbury’s said.

He said the new pay rates exceed the National Living Wage and the Real National Living Wage and represent a £100million investment by Sainsbury’s in its staff.

The wage increases will take effect from March.

Last year Morrisons, Britain’s No. 4 supermarket, said it had become the first UK supermarket group to pay all its store staff at least £10 an hour. Read more

($1 = 0.7382 pounds)

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Reporting by James Davey. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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