Lidl Ireland is set to become the first company in Ireland to announce the removal of the mandatory retirement age clause to prospective and current employees. Continuing in their commitment to be a more diverse and inclusive employer, all Lidl employees will have the option to continue their service beyond the current retirement age of 65 years old effective in the coming weeks. Lidl currently offers a top of the range pension programme to all employees, and those who choose to continue their service can opt to extend their pension plan on an individual basis. The decision will also allow the retailer to attract more mature and life-experienced talent as well as offering more flexibility to current employees. Not only will Lidl become the first company to announce the official removal of the retirement age, the retailer in committed to supporting employees through workshops across the island of Ireland by working with the Retirement Council of Ireland and LaterLife. The courses and workshops provided offer Lidl employees promote a holistic approach to retirement planning where financial preparation is not the only focus, as well as encouraging employees to think seriously about all aspects of their retirement.

Pictured: Lidl Customer Assistant, Lidl Youghal, Carl O’Connor. Image: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

The announcement comes as Taoiseach Michael Martin, announced that major changes to the state pension system are on the way, which would allow employees more flexibility with regards to retirement and incentivise workers to continue to work until 70 years old.  Speaking about the recent announcement and Lidl’s new upcoming policy change, Maeve McCleane, Chief People Officer at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, said:

As one of the largest workforces in the country, we are aware of the broad scope of employees and age groups that work at Lidl, and we want to support those who would like to choose to continue working with us and are not limited by the mandatory retirement age. At Lidl, we are really proud to continue to introduce people-centric policy updates that recognise the needs of our employees that are constantly evolving all the time as they progress through different stages of their lives and unlock a culture where everyone feels valued and empowered.

Lidl’s plans to remove the mandatory retirement age is part of its industry-leading benefits package designed with inclusivity in mind including dedicated menopause support resources for employees and line managers, paid time off for employees affected by early pregnancy loss or miscarriage, fertility leave, maternity leave, adoptive leave, paternity leave, parents leave, fostering leave and carers leave. The new package is designed to support and develop employees, ensuring that they can achieve their potential whilst balancing the demands of taking time out of work to care for their families.

Lidl Customer Assistant, Lidl Youghal, Carl O’Connor commented:

I joined Lidl in 2000 when Lidl first launched in Ireland and have worked with the company for twenty-two years. With the announcement of the Lidl’s retirement policy, for me it is fantastic to see. I have worked all of my life and I am fit and healthy and want to continue as long as I can. It’s great that the opportunity is there to work on. I was nervous when I was coming to the time of retirement, but I was reassured that there was no need to worry. It has been seamless with no changes to the way I work.

Not being able to work past the current retirement age was of huge concern. I am delighted that I can plan ahead much longer into the future. Lidl does so much for people that work here and the changes over the years really have been amazing. My plans for the future? I will continue to work away at Lidl as long as I’m allowed to, or my body allows me to. It’s great to be able to continue the work that I enjoy and to have a purpose to the day. I enjoy going home after a day’s work and the fact that I could be sitting in the garden doesn’t even cross my mind. I will have plenty time for that.

Lidl Ireland has been recognised for its industry leading employee benefits packages, with the company recently named Top Employer for 2022 by the Top Employer’s Association for a second year in a row. The esteemed international, sought-after certification showcases an organisation’s dedication to a better world of work, exhibited through excellent HR policies and people practices. Additionally, Lidl are delighted to be named the Most Reputable Retailer in Ireland in the 2022 Ireland Reptrak Study.


Lidl Gender Pay Gap 2021 Report & Mean and Median Gender Pay Gap

Lidl Ireland has no median pay gap between males and females – a statistic that we’re incredibly proud of. Lidl has identified a mean pay gap of 6.2% in 2021, down from 8.84% in 2020 – a 30% decrease in just 12 months. The current gap is attributable to a greater proportion of males than females in the business. These figures compare to the Irish national average of 11.3%[1], the UK national average of 15.5% and at European level it is 14.1%[2] according to Eurostat figures. The 6.2% Lidl Ireland mean gender pay gap compares very favourably with the UK retail sector. According to a recent PwC report (Nov 2021) on Mandatory UK Gender Pay Gap Reporting, the retail sector has a mean pay gap of just under 12%, the 7th lowest gap amongst 21 sectors studied (three sectors – Investment, Banking and Building Societies showed the highest mean pay gaps, ranging from 27% to just under 32% gap). 

Lidl Ireland Leadership Academy

Employees who receive a high rating in their talent forum after their annual review get a place on the Leadership Academy. These programmes are bespoke to the level the employee is at and in their peer group they complete training modules and in some cases a group project. A new module is being added for female employees on the topic of women in leadership along with education around gender bias for all business leaders.

Compassionate Leave Policies

This programme offers three full days at full pay to all employees, regardless of gender, including those with a surrogate mother who have been affected by early pregnancy loss and miscarriage. The inclusion of these additional days recognises that an early pregnancy loss and miscarriage is a bereavement, and one not isolated to women or heterosexual couples.

Menopause support

Lidl Ireland is committed to supporting colleagues who are experiencing menopause, helping to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic, educating its colleagues, and partnering with The Menopause Hub to encourage women to feel more comfortable talking about menopause and to know that the Lidl Ireland business is there to support them through this chapter of their lives.

Lupilu Programme

Lidl Ireland has a first in class Family leave programme, our Lupilu Programme. This programme encompasses maternity leave, paternity leave, new parents leave, parental leave, fostering leave, carers leave and soon to be launched fertility support. Unlike other retailers we pride ourselves on offered the same benefits to all our colleagues across the business regardless of position or level.

Our fertility support policy to be launched in the coming weeks for flexibility to attend appointments for fertility treatment regardless of gender and regardless of whether you are receiving the treatment or if your partner is. In addition to flexibility and support we also allow for two days paid leave per cycle of IVF for the person receiving the treatment. The leave is unlimited regardless of how many cycles of IVF you need to use.

Our fostering leave policy is also a policy that you don’t very commonly see in other organisations in Ireland. We introduced this policy on the back of feedback from a colleague in one of our stores and we are now proud to offer 3 days paid leave for the application process of becoming a foster parent and two days paid leave per year on the placement of a child. 

Buddy Programmes

To support mothers returning to work a Lupilu Buddy programme was established at Lidl Ireland which offers support from a peer who can share their insight and experience in returning to work and balancing being a parent. A second buddy programme is to be launched in the coming weeks to support our menopause support policy.

Improved recruitment process to eliminate gender bias

  • Recruitment agencies are requested to prepare a balanced shortlist of males and females
  • The Women in Logistics’ 2022 Referral Scheme encourages more females to join our warehousing teams
  • The Lidl Ireland salary scale ensures that every employee earns the same wage within each pay scale.
  • We provide training to hiring managers to have an unconscious bias when interviewing different genders.
  • Hiring and promotions are fair – roles are posted internally and anyone who is suitable for the role is brought forward for an interview.   

Screening process of all applicants ensures that hiring managers will only see candidates that have been screened without bias by the recruitment team.

Lidl Graduate Management Development Programme

Lidl Ireland runs the only City & Guilds/ILM accredited Graduate Programme in Ireland, a unique programme that is tailored for each graduate. Their 18-month programme consists of several modules which will graduates a full understanding of the business. Over the last three years 53% of participants selected have been male and 47% female.

Living Wage

In 2015, Lidl Ireland become the first retailer in Ireland to commit to paying the Living Wage and did so again in 2022, as recommended by the Living Wage Technical Group. 

Investment in jobs

In February 2022 Lidl announced a significant investment in the Irish market – the creation of 750 new roles as well as a €10 million investment in pay increases which will impact all employees in Lidl Ireland and Lidl Northern Ireland. 

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