Supermarket workers at Lidl will be given a £200 bonus as a thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.
Around 25,000 staff will benefit from the cash boost which will be awarded by the discount chain in February.
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All Lidl shop staff and frontline employees, including customer assistants, warehouse operatives and cleaners, across more than 800 stores and 13 distribution centres will benefit from the £200 cash injection next month.
The supermarket will also award a £100 thank you bonus to around a further 1,800 office-based staff in recognition of their efforts.
The boost will be reflected in workers’ pay packets in February, costing Lidl more than £5.5 million in total.
Christian Hartnagel, chief executive of Lidl’s UK business, said: “It has been an extremely challenging period and our teams have done a phenomenal job in helping to keep the nation fed.
“I am incredibly proud of the dedication and commitment our colleagues have shown and continue to show, and this payment is about recognising their unrelenting hard work and thanking each individual for the important part they’ve played in the year like no other”.
The extra payment comes after Lidl handed out a £150 bonus to all colleagues in March last year and announced a pay rise for staff in November.
The new wages, which will come into effect from March 2021, will see entry-level wages increase from £9.30 to £9.50 an hour outside the M25, and £10.75 to £10.85 for those based within the M25.
The move rivals that of fellow supermarket chain Aldi, which recently announced it will increase its national minimum hourly pay rate for store employees to £9.55 from 1 February, up from £9.40.
Supermarkets have reported soaring sales in recent months as repeated lockdowns have forced the closure of non-essential stores, pubs and restaurants, while food retailers have been allowed to remain open.
Lidl posted a record 17.9 per cent surge in total sales over the four weeks up to 27 December, in comparison to the same period last year.
The chain continued with its store expansion programme in December, opening four new stores, including sites in Southampton and Nottingham, and remains on track to reach its target of 1,000 UK stores by 2023, with £1.3 billion in investment planned for the next two years.