Fact Service March 2022

Issue 12

Research reveals vast disparity in supermarket pay

Research by the High Pay Centre shows that it would take two day’s work for the average supermarket CEO to earn the annual salary of a shop floor colleague on the minimum wage. According to the think tank’s calculations, CEOs in the sector make nearly £750 an hour compared to a minimum wage of £8.91.

The High Pay Centre reports growing calls for supermarkets to commit to paying all staff a real living wage, the wage rate based on the cost of living and set by the Living Wage Foundation. Over 9,000 businesses pay the real living wage, the foundation says, yet not one supermarket is accredited with it.

The High Pay Centre estimates that over more than two in five (350,000) supermarket workers earn below the real living wage, and:

• 49% of all female supermarket workers earn below it, compared to just 35% of men;

• workers from BAME backgrounds (44%) are more likely to earn below it than their White counterparts (41%);

• part-time workers (55%) are more likely to earn below it than full-time workers (28%); and

• half (50%) of disabled workers in the supermarket sector earn below it, compared to 41% of those without a disability.