Sainsbury’s has unveiled plans to hike hourly pay for its shopfloor staff, days after proposed cuts to its head office workforce emerged.

The grocer will invest in a 4.4% pay rise for around 135,000 eligible store colleagues across the UK, taking their hourly pay to £8 per hour – above the Government’s national living wage.

However, Sainsbury’s said “a small number” of staff who are on a different pay structure “for historical reasons” would not be eligible for the pay rise.

The supermarket giant said it would talk to those workers separately.

The changes to store staff pay come after Sainsbury’s drafted in consultants from McKinsey to devise a staff reduction plan.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, the retailer is expected to axe 1,000 central office roles as part of wider plans to save £500m.

Sainsbury’s employs 3,000 staff outside of its stores, including those at its Holborn head office in London, a human resources centre in Manchester, an IT centre in Walsgrave and a banking business in Edinburgh.

The grocer’s boss Mike Coupe said: “We’re pleased to announce a 4.4% pay increase for colleagues working in Sainsbury’s stores across the country.

“This is the third successive year that we have awarded eligible store colleagues a pay rise of 4% or more and recognises their hard work and dedication.

“We know what a difference this makes to our customers and we’re committed to rewarding them well for the great service they provide.”

The pay increase will come into force on August 27.

Earlier this year, Sainsbury’s big four rival Tesco pledged to hike pay for shopfloor staff by 10.5% over the next two years, taking hourly rates from £7.62 to £8.42 by November 2018.

However, both Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s pay rates remain below those of discount duo Aldi and Lidl.

Aldi recently increased hourly pay for store staff to £8.53, while Lidl pays £8.45.