J SAINSBURY PLC | Commitment to pay the real living wage to all workers

16.70% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Adopt or amend a policy
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Remuneration or pay
  • Decent work
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United Kingdom
Resolved clause
A commitment to pay the real Living Wage to all workers is in line with recent investments by Sainsbury’s in direct employees’ pay. This should be done at reasonable expense and nothing in this resolution should be read as limiting the Board’s discretion to take decisions in the best interests of the Company.
Supporting statement
As a large retail group, operating over 600 supermarkets and 800 convenience stores
throughout the UK and the Argos and Habitat brands, Sainsbury’s directly employs more than
189,000 workers. Investors recognise the company’s stated aim - to “always focus on doing
the right thing for our people2” and its recent progress on basic hourly rate of pay for directly
employed staff.

In January 2022, Sainsbury’s uplifted rates for directly employed staff to £10.00 per hour
outside of London (exceeding the real Living Wage rate of £9.90) and matched the Living
Wage rate for employees in inner London (£11.05).
Nonetheless, gaps remain compared with the real Living Wage standard and there is no
ongoing commitment to match the real Living Wage.
To promote the long-term success of the company, this resolution asks Sainsbury’s to
become an accredited Living Wage Employer.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
Domini Impact Investments For
ACTIAM (Delisted) For ACTIAM is part of the ShareAction shareholder coalition co-filing the Sainsbury’s living wage resolution. No UK supermarket is currently accredited as a Living Wage Employer. The provision of a real living wage, determined by the living wage foundation, not only gives companies a competitive advantage but also helps to contribute to real-world impact promoting a fairer society, particularly in the current cost of living crisis. By being the first supermarket getting accreditation, we believe Sainsbury’s will be able to attract more skilled workers, keep them motivated and lower staff turnover rates. We welcome the new pay rates announced in May. However, despite this positive progress, the rates do not apply to third party contractors and there is no commitment to align with the future rates, which are updated yearly, guaranteeing a real living wage for the long term.

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