Aldi to hire 500 new staff as it commits to paying living wage in Ireland

German discounter will pay at least €11.90 per hour from February 1st

Aldi has a 10.8% share of the Republic’s grocery market. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Aldi has a 10.8% share of the Republic’s grocery market. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

 

Aldi is seeking to recruit more than 500 new employees this year, all of whom will be paid at least €11.90 per hour, matching living wage recommendations.

The grocery retailer, which operates 137 stores in the Republic, is investing €160 million to expand and upgrade its Irish stores. It has committed €100 million to building 20 new stores, while also investing €60 million in revamping the others.

The German discounter said it was hiring area managers, store managers, assistant store managers and store assistants.

It also announced a new minimum rate of pay of €11.90 per hour to match what is known as the living wage. This is higher than the current minimum wage here which is stipulated by law at €9.80.

That new rate of pay is effective from February 1st, and is an increase on the company’s minimum hourly rate of €11.70. The increase is in line with the recommendations of the living wage technical group, a group supported by University College Dublin and Siptu among others.

The hourly living wage rate is the gross salary required by an adult in full employment to afford a minimum standard of living across Ireland.

Aldi UK and Ireland chief executive Giles Hurley said the retailer was “committed to offering the best pay and benefits in the industry”.

“Our expanding store portfolio, market performance and new Project Fresh stores demand that we continue to future-proof our business with the best people in retail.”

Grocery market

Aldi has a 10.8 per cent share of the Republic’s grocery market and its rival Lidl holds around 10.5 per cent, according to figures from Kantar Worldpanel.

While the discounters recorded their best Christmas performance to date and outperformed their rivals in growth terms, their individual market shares are more than 10 per cent behind SuperValu, Tesco and Dunnes Stores.

Since entering the Irish market in 1999, Aldi has made a capital investment of more than €1.2 billion.

Unlike Lidl, Aldi does not disclose revenue or profit figures for its Irish operations, instead including them in with the UK financial performance. In 2017, the retailer said revenues rose by £1.4 billion (€1.59bn) to £10.1 billion.