Lidl has announced that it will raise its wages to a minimum of £8.20 per hour from October 1, making it the first UK supermarket to pay staff the living wage.

As part of the Living Wage scheme, which requires employers to raise wages above £7.85 (£9.15 within London),Lidl will increase its hourly rate to £8.20 (£9.35 within London).

CEO of Lidl UK, Ronny Gottschlich, said,“It’s only right that we show our commitment, in the same way that the team commit to the business and our customers each and every day, by ensuring a wage that supports the cost of living.

All retailers will be required to increase wages to at least £7.20 for over-25s from April 2016 to comply with new Government legislation. This will be followed by a compulsory rise to £9 by 2020.

The announcement has generated significant support on social media networks, but some say this may lead to a wage war that could hurt small business. Research conducted by the ACS estimates 80,000 jobs could be at risk from a rise in national living wage.