Morrisons, Britain's fourth-largest supermarket chain, has become the country's latest retailer to raise its pay for store staff to a level above a compulsory "national living wage" due to be introduced by the UK government next year. 

Morrisons said today that from March it will increase its hourly payment to £8.20 from a previous minimum of £6.83. 

In July the government said Britain's hourly minimum wage will rise from April next year to £7.20 for those aged over 25, from £6.50 now, and to about £9.35 an hour by 2020. 

Morrisons said more than 90,000 staff, across all age brackets, will benefit from the move, which will cost it £40m a year. 

As the firm's current pay deal ends next month, staff will also receive a lump sum payment of 2% of salary before Christmas.

Sainsbury's, Lidl and Starbucks have all recently announced pay rises for shop floor staff. 

Several UK firms, including clothing retailer Next, Costa Coffee and Premier Inns owner Whitbread and pub chain Wetherspoon's have all complained about the higher costs stemming from the government's wage policy.