DISCOUNT supermarket chain Lidl GB is investing more than £10 million in its employees across the country by increasing their hourly wages.

The company said the move would benefit more than 19,000 workers – more than 80% of its total staff.

Lidl, which marks its 25th anniversary this month, said entry-level pay outside London would rise from £9 to £9.30 per hour, with some employees earning up to £11.70 depending on location and length of service.

Within the M25 area around London the hourly rate will rise from £10.55 to £10.75.

According to the company, the increase represents a wage rise of almost a third over the past five years.

The company said the move is part of Lidl GB’s ongoing commitment to supporting its employees both inside and outside of the workplace.

As a result of the increase, Lidl employees will benefit from pay that is between 13-30% higher than the UK Government’s current National Living Wage.

The Living Wage and Minimum Wage are both set by the Government and all employers must comply.

However, the former is a separate entity set up by the Living Wage Foundation. 

The new pay package, which will come into effect from the supermarket’s new financial year in March 2020, align with the rates advocated by the Living Wage Foundation to reflect the true cost of living.

Lidl GB recently announced a £15 billion investment in British food, farming and production over the next five years.

The company currently has 770 stores nationwide and this month confirmed a target of 1000 stores by the end of 2023, creating new jobs with every new opening.

In June, the discounter also announced a £500m investment in London over the next five years, in new stores across the city.

Earlier this month, Lidl said it was looking to rapidly expand its number of UK store as it sought ways to compete with the big four supermarket chains, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons.

Its chief executive in the UK, Christian Hartnagel, said he planed to open another 230 stores in the next three years.

In the 12 weeks to the end of October, Lidl’s UK sales grew 8.2%.

Härtnagel said: “During this time of such uncertainty, we feel fortunate to be able to make this investment in our colleagues, and give them peace of mind with regards to their salary.

“Our hourly paid employees represent over 80% of our entire workforce, and are the absolute backbone of our business.

“It is because of them that we continue to be the fastest supermarket, and are able to realise our ambitious expansion plans.”

He added: “This move is, therefore, testament to the unwavering commitment that each and every one of them puts into their work on a daily basis.”