Sainsbury’s invests £205m to boost hourly pay for workers to £11 per hour

Sainsbury’s is investing a total of £205 million to boost hourly pay for shop workers to £11 per hour.

The big 4 grocer is kicking off the New Year with its biggest ever investment in pay which is recognising the “extraordinary” hard work of colleagues.

On top of that, Sainsbury’s is also bringing forward its annual pay increase by a month to February 2023 to ensure it can best support colleagues with the rising costs of living in the year ahead.


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As a result, Sainsbury’s has become the largest supermarket to pay above Living Wage nationally and at Living Wage in London.

The retailer has also decided to extend free food during shifts for store and depot colleagues by a further six months due to the popularity of the initiative, helping colleagues to manage tighter budgets amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Sainsbury’s and Argos hourly retail colleague pay will increase from £10.25 to £11.00 per hour and from £11.30 to £11.95 per hour in London. This rise takes the pay for frontline, hourly paid colleagues to 10% in the last year and 38% over six years.

“We are acutely aware of how tough things are for millions of households this winter and we know that particularly after Christmas, budgets will be tighter than ever,” Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, Simon Roberts said.

He added: “As well as doing all we can to keep prices low for customers, it’s our job to support our colleagues as they face rising costs. That’s why we are bringing forward the increase and committing a total of £205 million to increase pay to at least £11 per hour this year.

“This is a massive investment that reflects the real challenges our people are facing right now. I’m really pleased that the progress we are making against our strategy means that we can continue to prioritise investing in colleagues to reward them for the fantastic service they deliver every day.”

Usdaw National Officer, Dave Gill, said: “We continue to work closely with Sainsbury’s on pay and these successive substantial increases make a significant difference to our members.

“With the cost of living continually rising, we have kept open our dialogue with Sainsbury’s and we are pleased the business has responded so positively. These unprecedented additional pay awards, along with free food and additional discount will be appreciated by our members.

The news comes as online searches for Sainsbury’s saw the largest fall out of all retailers from the start of December; dropping by 3,462,198 searches compared to December 2021.

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