Lidl gives UK workers one-off 'thank you payment' for pandemic work

Lidl’s UK arm said on Tuesday it will reward its front-line workers with a one-off £200 “thank you payment,” in order to recognise dedication shown throughout the pandemic, while its office-based employees will receive £100.

Front-line workers include customer assistants, warehouse operatives, and cleaners.

The German supermarket chain will farm out the reward to more than 25,000 workers — a total bonus of more than £5.5m.

The logo at the entrance of the new Lidl supermarket is pictured in Kloten near Zurich March 11, 2009. The discount supermarket chain will open its thirteen first supermarkets in Switzerland on next March 19. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann  (SWITZERLAND BUSINESS FOOD DRINK)
The German supermarket chain will farm out the reward to more than 25,000 workers — a total bonus of more than £5.5m. Photo: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB said: “It has been an extremely challenging period and our teams have done a phenomenal job in helping to keep the nation fed.

“I am incredibly proud of the dedication and commitment our colleagues have shown and continue to show and this payment is about recognising their unrelenting hard work and thanking each individual for the important part they’ve played in the year like no other.”

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The news comes following its announcement of an increase in hourly ages from March this year. Entry-level wages will increase from £9.30 to £9.50 per hour outside the M25 and £10.75 to £10.85 within the M25.

It also comes following calls for mask compliance from major supermarkets and “essential” retailers that have been allowed to stay open despite lockdowns.

In recent weeks many grocery chains said that mask compliance had slipped and called on the government to take action to keep its staff safe. This came after data from the track and trace service showed that supermarkets were the most common place people said they had been before reporting a positive COVID-19 test.

At the time, Morrisons’ (MRW.L) CEO David Potts said that those who fail to wear a face covering, and are not medically exempt, won’t be allowed in the shop.

Following this, Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L) also said it would challenge non-mask wearers or those shopping in groups. It said it would put trained security guards at the front of the shop to challenge non-compliance.

Supermarkets have been among the winners of the pandemic in the business world, as grounded Brits turned to home cooked meals and, in some cases, stockpiled and panic bought goods.

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?