Lidl Ireland has committed to paying its employees the latest Living Wage rate of €12.30 an hour as recommended by the Living Wage Technical Group. 

Lidl was the first major nationwide retailer to commit to paying the Living Wage in 2015.

It said the new higher Living Wage will benefit 15%, or 800, of its employees across Ireland, while all other employees currently earn more than €12.30 an hour.

The Living Wage is an independently assessed and recommended rate of income considered necessary to have a socially acceptable standard of living.

It takes clothing, food, housing, health, education, transportation and social/ recreational costs into consideration. 

The new 2019 figure of €12.30 represents an increase of 40 cent an  hour over the 2018 rate of €11.90.  The increase has been driven by changes in the cost of living and changes in the taxation system, as well as higher rents. 

Lidl said its continued commitment to paying the Living Wage is one of a number of initiatives introduced to all 4,300 employees across the country in recent years.

A similar commitment hs been made today to employees in Lidl Northern Ireland using the UK Living Wage Foundation's recommended rate of £9.30 per hour. 

Lidl Ireland employs over 4,300 employees in its 162 stores, head office in Tallaght and three distribution centres and regional offices based in Charleville, Mullingar and Newbridge. 

Maeve McCleane, HR Director at Lidl Ireland, said that by continually investing in the company's staff, it can continue to retain and attract the best employees.

She noted that 85% of Lidl employees already earn in excess of the Living Wage.

"However it is important for us to ensure that those whose hourly pay is below €12.30 benefit from an increase. This would bring them to a level that is more reflective of enjoying a better standard of living," Ms McCleane said.