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Tánaiste and Minister Nash welcome commitment by Lidl to become Living Wage employer

Announcement by major supermarket follows Living Wage Forum in Dublin last week

The Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD and Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash TD have warmly welcomed the announcement by retailer Lidl that it is to become a Living Wage employer in Ireland.

The move by the supermarket chain follows a Forum on the Living Wage hosted by Minister Nash and addressed by the Tánaiste in Dublin Castle last week. It saw employers, trade unions, civil society and others come together to discuss how to progress a Living Wage Campaign here.

A living wage is an independently assessed and measured rate of income considered necessary to meet basic needs such as housing, food, clothing, transport and healthcare. The Living Wage Technical Group in Ireland has calculated that the hourly Living Wage rate is €11.50.

Lidl has 143 stores nationwide and employs more than 3,800 staff. While most of its workers are already paid above the Living Wage, some 20% will see an increase in their pay packets as a result of this move.

Lidl has announced that it will become a Living Wage employer on the 1st of November.

Tánaiste Burton said, “I congratulate Lidl on its commitment to introduce the Living Wage to all its staff. While I understand that the vast majority of Lidl workers currently earn in excess of the Living Wage, it is, nonetheless, an important statement of intent from a large employer to voluntarily commit to it.

As the recovery is taking hold, and as we see 1,300 jobs being created weekly, it is our hope that improving economic fortunes will enable more employers to follow Lidl’s lead and commit to the Living Wage.”

Minister Nash said, “Just one week on from my Forum on the Living Wage in Dublin Castle, I am delighted that an employer of the scale and nationwide reach of Lidl has pledged to introduce the Living Wage from the 1st of November. Research in other countries tells us that where the living wage rate is paid, employees, businesses and the State benefits.”

“There is real momentum and energy behind the campaign and today’s announcement by Lidl represents a significant milestone. I would encourage all employers who can to actively consider the benefits for their workforce and their enterprise of committing to pay the Living Wage.”

Lidl has written to all its employees informing them of the move, which will also see knock on pay rises for store assistants and warehouse operatives who are already paid above the Living Wage.

Managing Director of Lidl Ireland, John Paul Scally said, “We are delighted to be the first major nationwide employer to commit to paying the Living Wage in Ireland. 80% of our employees earn in excess of the living wage already. However it is important for us to ensure that for those whose hourly pay falls below €11.50 would benefit from an increase. This would bring them to a level that is more reflective of enjoying a better standard of living.”

“In Lidl we are in a fortunate position that the last few years have seen our business go from strength to strength in a difficult economic situation. Key to this has been the dedication and commitment of our team so we see this more as an investment rather than a cost.”


For more information contact Deirdre Grant 086 0484 279 or 01 631 2200