Retail giant Lidl is increasing the wages of more than 16,000 of its employees, saying they will be the highest paid supermarket workers in the UK.

The firm will be increasing entry-level wages from £8.45 to £8.75 an hour outside London and from £9.75 to £10.20 within the M25.

Lidl said the move, which will come into effect from March 2018, represents an additional annual investment of over £3.5 million.

The rates match the new voluntary living wage announced on Monday by the Living Wage Foundation.

Lidl became the first supermarket to pay the real living wage two years ago.

Evening Times:

Nan Gibson, Lidl’s HR board director said: “Without our incredibly dedicated workforce we would not be able to positively impact the lives of our customer in the way that we do.

Living wage(PA Graphics)

“I’m incredibly proud, therefore, to once again show our dedication to our team by increasing wages and ensuring that, at the very least, salaries support the cost of living.”

At least 150,000 workers are set for a pay rise under the increased voluntary rates, which are higher than the Government’s figure of £7.50 for over 25-year-olds.