Sainsbury’s invests £205m in biggest ever pay boost to £11ph

Sainsbury’s is investing a total of £205m as it kicks off the New Year with its biggest ever investment in pay to at least £11 per hour.

This latest pay rise of £185 million is on top of the £20 million Sainsbury’s invested in October and recognises the extraordinary hard work of colleagues. Importantly, 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. 

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. 

Sainsbury’s 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. Free food has been welcomed by colleagues as an additional measure to help them manage tighter budgets.

Sainsbury’s has an excellent track record in being a leading employer and the increased rate of pay exceeds the government’s new National Living Wage rates. Sainsbury’s today becomes the largest supermarket to pay colleagues above the Living Wage nationally and at the Living Wage in London. 

Sainsbury’s is also introducing longer and deeper discounts at Argos for colleagues and all colleagues will continue to benefit from enhanced discounts at Sainsbury’s as part of their reward package.

To help colleagues manage their budgets and Christmas shopping, all colleagues were given a 15% Sainsbury’s discount throughout December and extra discount at Argos on select days in the run-up to Christmas, as well as a £15 voucher to spend at Sainsbury’s and the introduction of Pay Advance with Salary Finance. 

The additional colleague investment is being funded through Sainsbury’s Save to Invest programme, which focuses on making the business simpler and more efficient so it can invest in areas that will make the biggest difference to customers. Supporting colleagues with leading pay and benefits is a key part of this plan as it supports Sainsbury’s strategic objective to drive outstanding service.

Simon Roberts, Chief Executive, commented, “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. 

“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.

'We know that colleagues really appreciate having something to eat at work too, so we have also extended the provision of free food during shifts for an extra six months, as well as increasing colleague discount at Argos.

“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.” 

Dave Gill, Usdaw National Officer, 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 scale of the financial challenges facing all workers is immense and there still needs to be significant interventions from Government. Even under their plan, energy prices will have still doubled in six months and look set to go higher. Along with other prices sky-rocketing the cost of living is simply unaffordable for far too many workers.”