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<B>The Lidl Shop of Horrors</B> (Working Conditions in Lidl)
The Lidl Shop of Horrors

Lidl Ad: You don't care for workers' rights? Don't have to get paid for every hour you work? You like being on call 24/7? Don't need daily rest periods? Don't mind getting only two hours of sleep? Enjoy being humiliated in a fast-paced environment? - Then join our team today! LIDL

Working Conditions in Lidl

In 1973 Dieter Schwarz had an idea. As he watched one of his employees kneeling in front of the shelf and stacking up the bananas, her face red with embarrassment for having failed to fulfil her duties in the assigned timeframe, a new concept was born.
She knew she should have finished an hour ago.
She knew she wouldn't get paid for this hour.
And yet, the feeling of inadequacy combined with the fear of losing her job caused her to stay.
This was (and is) common practice in the sector - but Dieter Schwarz was about to perfect it. If the sheer terror at the thought of losing one's income was causing workers to do one hour of unpaid overtime every day, why not three or four? If he increased their workload without increasing their hours and forced them to stay as long as they were needed he could considerably cut down on personnel expenses, and this would enable him to sell at prices no one else could compare with and still make an enormous profit; he basically sells the product to the consumer at half the normal retail price, and his employees pay the other half.
Employers break the law all over the world to squeeze the most out of their workers. But the Lidl concept is entirely based on breaking the law: Lidl could not exist in a country that applies their labour laws!

Lidl is considered the nastiest multinational employer (besides maybe Walmart) in the civilised world, and rightly so.
Unfortunately I wasn't aware of that until it was too late.
I had a well-paid job in a decent factory, but the night shift completely destroyed my health. So I signed a contract with Lidl after I was guaranteed that I wouldn't have to work nights.
As you can guess, that guarantee wasn't honoured, and I had to get up at 4am every night.
I had hoped that I could stick with it until I found decent employment - but in the end I put my health and dignity first and left.
(To be fair, I have to add that when I started we had a store manager who was both decent and competent - but I soon had to realise that neither of these qualities are common in Lidl.)

These are just some of the working conditions:

- Contracts are for 10 or 20 hours/week. However, employees may be able to work full time most weeks, provided
a) they never mention their rights
b) they are on call 24/7
c) it suits the company.

- Whoever shows awareness of their rights has their hours cut down. The same goes for employees who are not 'flexible' (=not available to come in at short notice any time or not answering their phones at 5am). And of course any career opportunities depend entirely on tractability and 'flexibility'.

- Labour laws are not applicable in Lidl. Especially the legally prescribed minimum daily rest period is regularly denied. This happened to me quite often, and when it became the norm, I quit.
Some of my Polish and Slovak colleagues have to work two shifts a day (5+ hours at night/morning, 2+ hours in the evening), five days a week, each week; which means that every week they are denied their daily minimum rest period for five consecutive days.
There even is an internal terminology for regular breaches of the law: for example, an evening shift followed by a night shift, denying the employee his legal entitlement of an eleven hour rest period, is called a back-to-back shift.

- Employees are constantly harassed. However fast they work, they are expected to increase their speed every day, and not a day goes by without the manager telling them they are too slow, usually with a more or less subtle hint at possible dismissal.
(On one occasion I was told I had to change a number of bulk pallets in an average of 15 minutes each; I managed to change them in an average of 9 minutes, and on the following day I was given 8 minutes for exactly the same task.)

- Employees only get paid for the hours they're scheduled for but have to stay until everything is finished. Since the amount of work can't possibly be done in the assigned timeframe the employee has to add a few hours of their own time without payment.

- If an employee gets called in for extra hours at short notice, these hours are conveniently 'forgotten' on the payroll.

- Fear is the main means of staff motivation. I have been told that disciplinary action had been taken against me on two occasions (for ludicrously silly reasons that wouldn't even have been addressed anywhere else); the disciplinary action didn't come after all, but it helps reminding the staff of how easily they can get rid of them. (The same has happened to a number of staff members in our store.)

- Cashiers are required, under pain of disciplinary action, to start work ten minutes before the beginning of their shift. This may not sound like a lot, but depending on the rota of the cashier, it could amount to up to two additional unpaid hours per week.

- Cashiers are supposed to scan an average of 35 items per minute; I never heard of anyone who managed to do this even once, and it is my belief that this is actually impossible. But the magic 35 is used at every given opportunity to remind even the best employee that their work is not satisfactory.
(And while they are busy trying to scan as many products as humanly possible 'Mystery Shoppers' are being paid to sneak other items past the checkout and get the cashier into trouble.)

- An employee who purchases a drink or a chocolate bar for the break has to get the receipt signed by both the cashier and the manager or will be accused of theft. (Naturally, the time one is looking for the manager is part of the break itself.)

- I haven't experienced or witnessed any locker, pocket or body searches in our store; however, we have been repeatedly informed that these could and would be carried out if the manager felt like it. And I do know these have taken place in other stores!
(Some employees leave their coats at home, even in winter, for fear of having something slipped into them as an excuse for their dismissal.)

- Lidl employees are not supposed to have a private life. They never know what time they will finish; the time given on the rota is simply an estimate (and usually a very bad one) and only indicates until which time they'll get paid. Employees are told not to make any plans or arrangements for the time after work.
The rota is usually out at the weekend for the following week, so employees don't know before Saturday or Sunday whether they'll be working on Monday. And of course the rota can be changed at any time. (I have heard of stores who have, at least theoretically, a monthly rota, but that seems to be the exception.)
Employees are also expected to be available when called in at short notice. They may be called in on their day off, on days on which they have worked already, during their holidays and even when they're on sick leave! And those who don't comply are told that they 'let the team down'.
(Talking about sick leave: sick employees, with or without certificate, can expect a visit from the store or district manager, and they usually don't bring Get Well Soon cards. And those who have been ill for too long can expect their notice in the post.)

- Sick days are not paid; the employee’s rota is simply changed, making his sick days his days off, and he will have to catch up with the lost hours after he returns to work.

- Warehouse, shop floor and checkout area are infested with security cameras. Yet they have nothing to do with security; their only purpose is to control the speed and efficiency of the staff.

- Attendance at staff meetings is compulsory, as anywhere else, but unpaid.

- The Lidl policy of terror, pressure, humiliation and total control applies on every level. Managers receive an annual salary for a 48 hour contract, but they, too, have to finish their work before they go home; thus a working week of over 140 hours (no typo!) is not an exception, though many managers have to blame their own incompetence (overordering, personnel mismanagement etc).

- There is no proper authority in Lidl to deal with disagreements between management and employees (Lidl will probably claim that there is no need since there are no disagreements). Something like a spokesman would be the first step towards workers' representation, and this is something Lidl would not allow under any circumstances!
Theoretically, disagreements and complaints could be brought to the attention of the district manager, but these are guaranteed to backfire! Lidl has a totalitarian structure, and however justified one's complaint is: questioning the store manager means questioning the hierarchy, and this doesn't go down well at all!

- Until recently female employees in Poland and the Czech Republic were given the privilege of being able to use the toilet during working hours when they had their period. But since they had to wear a headband in order to let the manager know it was that time of the month there was an understandable outcry; and now they have to wait for their break, just like anyone else.

Many Lidl employees, especially job starters and foreign nationals, tend to believe that the way their employer treats them is the norm, or even legal. It is not!

You may ask yourself how Lidl are able to hold on to their staff under these conditions. The answer is simple: they don't! Most employees leave after a few weeks, either because they found decent employment, decided not to give up their dignity for a few extra Euros or are sacked under some pretext because they lack tractability or quickness.
Since the tasks performed by the majority of the staff don't require a lot of training they are easily replaced - preferably with foreign nationals since they tend either to be unaware of or fuss less about rights and minimum requirements.
When you visit your local Lidl you will see new faces on a regular basis. And if you look into the eyes of those poor souls who have to stay there for more than a few months you will find them reddened from sleep deprivation, and dead from dehumanisation.
Having been a Lidl employee it was almost impossible to afford one's shopping anywhere else but in Lidl. But a few weeks before I quit I decided never to spend another penny in there - why sustain the dark power that had turned me into a zombie?
I have gathered experiences with many despicable employers and suffered a lot of humiliation at several workplaces; but the most traumatic of them all will always be my time in Lidl!
I don't blame anyone who shops in Lidl because he has no other choice. But every time you pass the checkout think of the money you have saved by shopping in Lidl, and remember that all these savings come out of their employees' pockets.

(Of course one may wonder whether a multinational company could get away with these practices without the co-operation of the authorities. In February 2007 I have contacted the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and suggested to send inspectors. In reply I was told that the Department had no authority to send inspectors into Lidl unless I filled out an official Labour Inspectorate Complaint form - however, they are very reluctant to send out this form, and it took several emails and reminders to finally receive the form after more than three months. To view my communication with the Department, click here.

August 2017: It is now over ten years that the Department have received my complaint form by registered letter, and still no inspection has been carried out in Lidl.)

In 2007, the Guardian published an article about the working conditions in Lidl at http://www.guardian.co.uk/supermarkets/story/0,,2033346,00.html. Due to a misunderstanding, though, I wasn't quoted correctly - my evening shifts didn't last for 12 hours; however, they ended as late as 11pm or midnight (or, in case of an inventory, even a few hours later) and were followed by night shifts that commenced at 5am (not 6am).

Update 2014: My experience with Lidl now dates a few years back, and so do most contributions to this page. However, from what I read hardly anything has changed since then. Recently someone has put up a petition to Lidl to comply with labour legislation at change.org.
Our Lidl Grievances

Now we get to the stories of my colleagues. If you are working for the Lidl People as well and have something to contribute (anonymously, of course), send an email to

I found a particularly chilling account of a former employee on an Italian blog (don't worry, it's written in English) which probably will only be believed by Lidl employees. WARNING: This is pure hardcore, and anyone with a weak heart should skip this link; if you think you can take it, click here.
At around 11.00 i get a phone call from one of the duty managers, she aked me if i could do her a favour, now this manager i like and she does her best, especially the crap i know she gets daily.She wanted me to go and work in another store as they were short staffed naturally i said no, whilst pretending to have other arrangments, she was okay about it and told me its my day off and we were cool, then she told me a story about how she had to take rotas home as a manger has made a mistake halfway through the month, now from what she told me she was working on it all evening until 2.00am !! I told her this was ridiculous, and rememeber this is in her own time, covering for somebody elses mistakes which she does on a regular basis !! Then she told me one of the senior managers who hasn't even been with the comapny for a year gave her a roasting for not doing some order for two days and she is one of the more experienced mangagers that was tranfered from another store.I really feel for people like that who are eventually going to be ground down.
After finishing the phone call after moaning to her about not getting off the till until 20.15, way after we are supposed to close, and realising she had just phoned me from HER home not worlk!! i forgot about it and got on with my day, later on the phone went again and it was another manager asking me the SAME question about working in the same store!! Somebody else answered the phone that time as i wasn't in, but their attitude to my relatives on the phone really gets me, they phoned up yesterday to check if i was coming in when i was well on my way to work, i found out when i got home that night.
One time when i was delivering leaflets for this new store, a manager at the store i was training at phone up to check if i was in, they did it twice their trust in me was really a great motivator!
This is a continuation of yesterydays delights when i was phoned up for a second time to come in to my store, my mother answered the phone, now as far as i know she was polite, but the manager that phoned has been talking to our security gaurd, who i get on with, in a break the security guard told me that this manager had said that my mother was asking questions and going "what do you want.." and proceeded to say that i was a mummys boy, how many staff he has told this too i don't know as you can imagine this was a bit shocking my life is my own business and the reason i live with my folks is complicated and mostly financial, i also floated to another duty mannager that i was thinking about leaving, and had conversations with him at cashing up about what this other manager had said to me, he said it was bullying ect and was simpathetic.

I think our manager ist just there for the humiliation bit - there's nothing she loves more than giving out to people in front of others, which sometimes can take an almost comical turn.
One day she told me to clean the trolley bay and level the trolleys half an hour before we closed. An hour later she calls me and yells at me (in front of everybody else, of course) that the trolleys weren't level. I managed to keep my calm and even a straight face (which was very difficult) and told her that I had levelled them when she told me to, but that there were still customers afterwards. Without lowering her voice one bit, she told me that that was no excuse...
Lidls r nazi i had 2 work a 15 hour shift & when i wanted 2 go 4 a second ten minute break was told no as had had ten minutes earlier! i quit on the 3rd day (from a blog)
In our shop we order three times as much as we sell. We are on rota 5am until 10am but never finish before evening because we must work backstock. One day I got bad toothache just after 10am and begged store manager to let me go to dentist. She finally agreed to let me go 'early' - early being at 3pm, after 10 hours work (with 15 minute break) and 5 hours of agony.
I am a Store Manager in an English store and have read your web page and of course around 90% of what you have written is accurate.
One thing you failed to mention was the issue of alarm call outs for managers which can occur during any time of the night/early morning.
One such occasion was when I had only had 1 hours sleep and was called and had to attend the store at 2am (where there was some alarm sensor error or something as no break in occurred). I then had to drive home so tired afterwards and then attend work at 6am for my normal 10 hour shift.
The most hours I have done in a week is 69 (which I realise is very good!) considering the other managers I know of.
I know of a manager that has fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed their car, writing off their car and needing treatment for their back etc. They had worked the previous 6 days and had done around 75 hours in those days.
Nothing seizes to amaze me with this company.
I have seen everything you could wish to see having been with the company for between 2 years and 5 years (wishing to remain anonymous), and am currently searching harder than ever to find employment elsewhere.
I sincerely hope that your search for justice for Lidl employees all over the world comes to something and that you follow this through, and keep writing to them.
When I quit I promise I will help you to bring Lidl down, and seek justice for the stressed, tired, hard working and mentally tortured employees of this fearless employer.
I know that my place will be readily snapped up by someone young, attracted by the good salary, but once they realise what is expected from them they too, will see the light and leave.
As i stated earlier, please please do not in any way use this email address or any of my details that could be linked to me on any of you're pages as I am still an employee.
I just wish to say keep up the hard work, and I know that other Lidl employees look at your page to see if there is light at the end of the tunnel, and a visit will occur so that they can see that leaving the store at 9pm and starting work again at 6am is completely against the law, as these are the times we leave work and start again the next morning. Of course inventories finish around 11pm and the store manager is expected in at 6am to run through any mistakes and get the result with the District Manager.

It is probably worth mentionning right now that I am someone who works extremely hard in any job I have done, happy to put in extra effort, to go that "extra mile" that employers want from their staff. And also, I was aware of some of the complaints made about the company before I started. But, was reassured by the Regional Director that that was the "old Lidl" and that the new LIDL was beyond that, much improved. It is for this very reason that I make these comments in 2009 to make people aware that the company, at least to me, seems very much the same (90%) as I see on websites and in newspaper reports.

I don't know where to begin.

Perhaps I could talk endlessly about the way managers talk to you as if you're worthless and not worthy of their employment? This was what annoyed me most of all....the patronising tone of managers talking to you....."well if you want to be successful here you need to be something special". In a similar way senior managers and auditors will often take photographs of the store when they visit. I was actually pulled into the office one day and questionned with a pile of these photos on the table. The ops manager and director were either side of me and went through a number of these photos. It felt like I was a criminal being interrogated for murder by detectives. One photo showed how we sold out of a product line. Another showed how there was too much of a product on display, and that it was not productive. I just thought what do you want....you complain to me when there's no stock out, you complain when there's too much. At one point the ops manager said to me....Do you think you're a leader? "Yes" No you're not he said back to me....So I just thought why the hell do you ask me the question in the first place, if you're just gonna deny my answer? Then at the end of this session they both said....do you want to make any comments to us?....Yeah right like you would even listen to me!!

With this in mind it's not surprising that we call the leadership 'management by fear'. I once cashed an employee up and he had a till difference of 30p. He said to me let me pay that because the company likes the till difference to be zero and he did not want to be documented as an employee with a till difference.

Another thing is the incessant 'DM list' (a list of jobs left by the District Manager) left frequently for in-store staff, a list which has to be completed by two days...."John" said the DM...."all of my DM jobs have to be treated as a priority" Sometimes these jobs were given before the weekend, and it was simply impossible to get them done on Saturday and Sunday as my in-store colleagues would tell me. Some of these jobs seemed quite strange like having to move a clip board so that it is hanging from a hook instead of standing on a shelf. Strange because on top of these jobs staff are expected to still put out all the stock, maintain the shopfloor, work on the till, make orders, serve customers etc. It's not surprising that staff roted to start at 6am would sometimes start at 3am (unpaid) in order to get everything done.

I hear similar things: Lidl is not that bad, it’s much better. Senior managers saying that the company has changed and is different from all the press reports in 2006-2008. Thing is all the senior managers who said this were still working for the company back then. Thing is a culture of a company cannot just change overnight. Thing is in the recession as the £ falls and bites into Lidl’s buying power, increasing expense, they are pushing staff even harder to make money back. Thing is can a leopard change its spots?

In a legal sense I find the company really covers themselves very well. ‘Do not drive when tired’ written in documents you’re given. But when you start working for Lidl you’ll see the real Lidl differs to the Lidl on you’re contract. One time they demanded that I drive to head office to get price tickets (as punishment for my incompetence), I was so tired but I did not say no, a task to add to the many other things to do that day! These tickets would have just come the next day had I not driven there. Other parts of my contract seemed to be ignored too, working many more hours than stated and travelling more too. When I was in training the company even had less staff than normal at the store, to put me under “more pressure” - I said to myself I am driving so much and could have a car accident from fatigue, these people are complete ****holes. And man I ended up hating this company car which I spent my life in!

I am astonished with the things I have seen in my Lidl career. Honesty checks where they drop a £10 note in the staff toilets to see if staff hand it in. Searching customers’ shopping on exit, pretending that they do it for training purposes, but really checking if anything’s been stolen. Small wonder that one staff member left, saying he’s better off on the dole.

I have never really understood this company. I told a relative of my frustrations working for Lidl, they just replied – you can’t win with those people. I think this probably sums it up.

On one time before stocktake the District Manager said that I had to work an open-close, ending up to be 6am-10pm, then starting at 6am the next morning. When I counted the stock I was so tired that I could not do simple counting. Then the DM made out I was completely incompetent. Another occasion I had my name read out in front of others because my car was dirty, even though I cleaned it twice in the week. The only dirt was from the journey that morning. But Lidl doesn’t care about you’re excuses, there such a black and white company “I don’t care about you’re explanation because I pay you a fantastic salary and it’s a great opportunity” My boss once said to me. Great opportunity to do what? Burnout? Do your back in? Do alarm call outs at 4am? Treat staff like ****? Er no thanks.

After seeing Lidl job vacancies I applied for job at the Lidl thru the head office. Went for an interview at the Lidl regional office and was at the start optimistic. When I started I was shocked. I knew things would be bad but I was never ready for everything that happened. I worked there at Lidl as a district manager for eleven months out of the weston super mare regional distribution centre (RDC), when I left out of approx 16 DM's I was the fourth most experienced. I regularly worked over 60 hours a week with no overtime. My advice dont go near Lidl. Lidl is the worst employer I have ever seen. As district manager (DM) you can only take a quick break (maybe 10 minutes) work 10 hours a day minimum, have to drive miles and miles. You have to opt out of the 48hr week. You won't see family or friends. Lidl is just not worth it. the ops manager would shout at me down the phone for no reason. everyone seems stressed out there and paranoid. the instore staff have it worse tho, having to pull massive pallets of stock by hand. maybe they even end up getting back problems. staff who work there may even have knives pulled on them when they stop shoplifters.
At the start the job looks attractive but honest the reason they pay good salary is because no one stays working there a long time!! And the reason there is opportunity to progress is because so many people burn out from the job and leave. Lidl is an awful company.

Very interested to read your experiences which were exactly the same as my own.
I'd heard horror stories about Lidls, but thought they were all written by wimps! I therefore thought, being much tougher than most wimpy people, that I could cut it!
How wrong could I be!
My job was a Deputy Store Manager and I was told I would start for 12 weeks on a training plan and was given my "Lidls Passport" (training book). That was the first lie. Day one saw me shelf stacking, day two I was given a till to work. No training just a warning that if the till was down, I would have to pay the difference!Another example is that I was expected to change the bailer having been shown once how to do it; I was expected to shift a pallet of lemonade on my own with a customer observing that it was dangerously heavy and too big for me; I was expected to empty a pallet completely in twenty minutes (?) again, with no training. Some of these expectations together with the lack of training are, in my opinion, dangerous and in breach of HASAWA. I ought to mention the back to back shifts with only two hours between to sleep and eat (the only time you had chance for liquid and food to sustain you for another 12-14 hours!
The working hours are arguably illegal – I was only allowed a break of a few minutes on very few of my working shifts. On many shifts I was allowed no breaks at all. Breaks appear to be seen by the store managers as a luxury and not a necessity or an entitlement. On every shift I worked between one and two hours over the nominal shift hours. In my view, this store is seriously understaffed and needs a realistic staffing review. The management attitudes in the store are very poor. A 21 year old with the attitude he has will always win enemies: Cocky, arrogant, rude, aggressive with no people skills – all attributes of a very bad manager. The Other's attitude and approach are equally questionable. There is a clear bullying culture in our branch. The organisation structure is very confused. All of the staff (except three) are either managers, deputy managers, assistant managers or duty managers. Therefore, no one knows who to report to and too many orders are being dished out by too many people to too few people.The level of customer service shown by some members of staff is appalling. I used to cringe at the rudeness of one particular member of staff. Yet the Lidl staff manual places huge store on the importance of this particular KPI.There are some fantastic and loyal individuals operating in the lower positions in the store who are not being treated with the respect they deserve by the managers. The Managers rule by fear and have obviously never learned how to motivate people to achieve peak performance. Their expectation that I would be happy to just pick things up as I went along whilst I was being spoken to like a dog was obviously based on the assumption that I was as desperate as the other members of staff and that I would just put up with their arrogance. A number of the staff have voiced their unhappiness at the same problems as me but they don’t say anything because they are too scared of losing their jobs. I walked out after just 5 weeks when the young cocky manager hauled me into the office to tell me that I had done the ticket order wrong - my retort was that he had shown me how to do it in 5 mins and that of course I would get it wrong given the lack of training. I told him "tell you what, I'll see you later" and walked! The best thing I did. My soul and body had been destroyed in those 5 weeks and I honestly believe I would have been dead if I had continued. Anyone who doubts what I say - go and try it just for a month!
I was totally disgusted and sickened by the whole experience and cannot believe that they are getting away with it!

Hi, I'm a picker in a lidl warehouse in england. I KNOW EXACTLY HOW YOU ALL FEEL. My current selection manager lied to me(and 45 other core pickers(which by the way there are only 7 of us left)) in my interview about overtime rates(which your lucky to get your normal rate at all), pay rises which I was told that by a years time I would be at top rate as it was very easy to achieve. Complete lie, everytime they gave me a target to hit for a pay rise something always comes up that i've done wrong(Same goes for the others that started with me) nearly two years later still no payrise and still they expect me to hit and surpass my previous target which keeps getting harder and harder to reach. Also is the method in which they work out your pay. They base your worked hours on an average. So as you figure your pay is NEVER right but NEVER over always under. they don't state your hours worked. Lidl is the ONLY warehouse i've ever worked at that had a "depression hotline" which to me is a very bad sign to start with.

This week i've had to work a 7 day week and still manage to hit their out-of-control targets that if you do manage to get them they just raise them the next day. Whenever you ask them anything they don't agree with they will always reply with "you know where the door is, we have a stack of applications to replace you." Always a boost.

Don't forget the "NO TALKING, NO SMILING, NO LIFE" policy that follows their shifts that are 07:00-finish, 11:30-finish, 14:00-finish.

There MANY things that Lidl get away with, such as they had an independant employee survey company come in but we NEVER saw the questionares but the "employees" gave a good response. Lastly, Christmas just gone we were all forced to to book holidays in for the times of their choosing.

I don't know a single operative in my w/h that ISN'T trying to go elsewhere for work.

Lidl has offered me a salary that i considered to be absolutely fantastic and worth of whatever comes. I have always worked much harder than other people and felt great that this time i get paid hard for working hard. Boy, how wrong was I. I was given no training at all never worked less than 50 hours a week and of course, for us managers taking a break is seen as weakness and the way you get treated is just ridiculous. Respect? Forget it. Human rights? Forget it. But that isn’t the worst thing. The worst thing was that I realised my management style is starting to change too and because I didn’t want to become just another animal who treats people like garbage, i actually felt relieved when they sucked me on spot when I’ve gone for my only 10minute break in 12+ hours shift. District Manager just said he’s failing my probation (after i was there for just over 3 months) and he sounded like he couldn’t care less. But do you know what? After those 12weeks of constant bullying I couldn’t care less either. I then been 4months unemployed but I needed that to recover and become human again. Job as a cashier may not be as bad as being a deputy manager but you will still be working unpaid overtimes and get treated like s**t so stay away if you can. The store manager who was (not) providing me with training has to look at district manager as he was a god otherwise his employment could end right away.

I have 3 years work experience as a shop assistant in Lidl. My opinion about this company is very similar to yours, it’s a typical corporation who don’t care about their employees.
From the first day I informed my managers that I’m a proud member of the trade union, and that many things in my opinion are unacceptable and breach the law. They told me that they are a German company and don't accept trade unions. Well, I answered that they’re operating here in Ireland and that they surely are under Irish law.
Anyway, this whole year which I spent here was a terrible time, nobody here is treated with respect, the work force are rather slaves in new form. Actually, in the shop where I am working, there are now 5 people in the trade union, and I’m a kind a shop steward (Union representant).
This March I orginised the first meeting all members of the trade union, and I informed my manager in detail about this beforehand. Two months later some big boss from Lidl Headquarters in Ireland visited our shop and ordered my manager to find something against me. (I know this from my manager, of course unofficial.)
Anyway, a few days later I was accused about insubordination, and after many other things I got a verbal warning. Of course I appealed the decision, and I said to some big boss that I was innocent, but to no avail.
Im still under disciplinary sanction, people in my shop are afraid to do anything (high unemployment around) about their rights.
Now the company have their 10 years’ celebration, with a €10 voucher gift for workers. As I said to my colleague, €10 is good for a kid to buy ice cream, but not for people who work so hard. One good thing from the last days was that only few people agreed by signature to have their pictures/video images from the company’s 10 years’ celebration used. I told them that it is against the rights under data protection.
Anyway, it is hard to work here. People are sick of the atmosphere, always under pressure and never hearing a simple Thank You. It is a shame we have to work in this atmosphere... but I’m not ashamed of what I do because it is to improve things for myself and others. It’s a shame that this kind of company is on the increase... only for the profit of their owners, nothing more.

Having worked as a trainee district manager for the company in the UK (a few years ago now) I was on wikipedia out of curiosity to see what is written about the company and found a link to your site. I totally relate to all of the stories. I was so tired working for them that on one of my days off I crashed the company car (not serious crash, I was fine). I gained six penalty points for speeding once due to being very tired while driving and the other time due to sheer fear at not arriving on time to a meeting at the regional distribution centre. I lost over a stone in body weight in only a few months out of the very demanding physical labour required. I think the most hours I worked in a week was about 85 but I never did less than 65. The money and car are very attractive to newly graduated students but when you work out the hourly rate, it's less than minimum wage. Needless to say, I got out of there as fast as I could.
I was suspended due to being accused of stealing a packet of crisps at the cost of £1.19. Since the day I started, I had always paid for everything at the END of my shift because I couldn't get anyone to stay on the till long enough for me to do it any other way. It was never a problem and even the store manager and seen me do it at the end of a shift and never said it was an issue. I was to attend a hearing, in the Lidl store. I know now why this was all brought about as well.

Anyway, I attended the hearing and told the area manager and someone who was completely unknown to me (and wasn't even introduced to me) that I no longer wished to work for the company and handed him an envelope which contained my letter of resignation plus the cost of a packet of crisps that the store manager refused to allow me to pay for.

I told the area manager that the company was a disgrace. I informed him about fraud going on within the company but he didn't care. The store manager was signing training documents for staff members without their prior knowledge or consent. He didn't care. I told him how members of staff have trouble trying to get their breaks, let alone anything else, to which he replied just ring for another till. He seemed to be under the impression that if you rang for another till, someone would jump on a till for you to go on a break. Another member of staff who is always thrown onto first till can be on a 10am-close shift and will want a break at 7pm, and be told no because she finishes in an hour. And this is by other store assistants. The manager has previously thrown a bag of hard boiled sweets at a member of staff because someone annoyed him during an inventory.

Anyway, I handed the area manager my key for the door, emptied my locker and handed him those keys and told him that from this moment on, I no longer work for Lidl and I expect my pay slips (which I couldnt get at because they were always locked in the top safe and there was about 6 months worth in there) and my P45 within a week. 4 weeks later I had to demand them. I had to ask one of the cleaners (who works 3 hour shifts yet gets to stand in the back for 20 minutes drinking tea) on Facebook to get them sent to me. And even then they screwed me out of half a months wages and when I phoned up about it, they didn't even care enough to sort it out. I can't even get through to them on that number now.

About 2 weeks later, I received a letter stating they were dismissing me. Funny that seeing as I had already told them I no longer worked for them. But I do know what caused the problem.

About 2 weeks before all this started, my partner and my mum both came down with a sickness bug that had been going around. This meant that no one was looking after my now 2 year old son. The assistant manager told me that another member of staff was due in at 10am and could I wait until then. I said yes. At 10am when someone came in, I asked about taking my till off, but he tried to back track on me trying to make me stay, telling me that the stock in the warehouse should be my number 1 priority and I told him I couldn't give a monkeys about his stock when my son is left doing god knows what because everyone else is fighting over the bathroom. I told him to either take my till off or I was going and leaving it there. And then all this over a bag of crisps. It didn't start before that because the store manager was on holiday. And I have since found out that they told everyone else that I left on my own volition. They had no idea what was going on behind the scenes.

To paint a picture of the type of company we're dealing with here, the store I worked for hired an assistant manager who previously worked as a bouncer on the nightclubs in town. He had no retail experience at all. This assistant manager was dealing drugs on the carpark, turning up nearly an hour late to open up, which means no bread, fruit and veg, chiller etc had been put out and he had a habit of yelling at staff in front of customers. Did Lidl sack him? Nope they just moved him to another store.

I now think the company may be making things difficult for me getting another job but I always have something up my sleeve. They think they can ruin me but they are dead wrong. I need to have a reputation before they can tarnish it.

I was 19 when I began working for Lidl down south, after offering me a shop assistants role I was initially delighted as I had been out of work for a while and £6.50 per hour would be the most I'd ever earned at the time, my happiness was short lived. It was around November when I first started, the first week went reasonably well, I got to go home on time, they only really had me on the 7am to 11am shifts, as I was only contracted 20 hours, then I saw the following weeks rota, first shift of the week; '7 – C' was all that was wrote for Monday, I was told that it meant 7am until shop closing (8pm), then I noticed a couple more of these shifts plus others, but I was only contracted 20 hours! I told my duty manager that I wasn't too happy about working those kinds of shifts but all he said was that I'd survive and that everyone else has to do them 'from time to time'. So I did it, although it wasn't 7am until close, more like 7am till 9.40pm! Over 14 hours! Apparently I wasn't allowed to leave work until the shop had been 'closed down' properly, meaning all the stock on every aisle had to be tidied and half empty boxes emptied on top of boxed stock, then the edges of every aisle had to be mopped then a machine pushed up and down each aisle twice, then the till area had to be swept, mopped, bins emptied, then left over stock had to be put back in their places, the staff room cleaned, then we had to do yet another walk around the store tidying the aisles and stock, of course if it was a day when the 'specials' came in all that would have to be done too, not to mention all of the price changes and point of sale signs being changed. I was basically working an extra 1 hour+ a day for free without pay!

I asked about breaks and they told me that you only got a break if you were on an 8+ hour shift but were 'pretty good' as they let everyone go for cigarettes etc. when they wanted one. When it came to my break (7.5 hours into my shift) they told me that although it was officially an hour only 30 minutes was paid so “The staff prefer to just take half an hour and work the rest so they get paid” I knew they were talking rubbish, I decided to still take an hour, but sure enough after half an hour a duty came into the staff room and told me to get back on the shop floor as my break was over and I was eating into the next employee's break and now they wouldn't get a full half hour!!

I was there around a year and a half, during this time I had been ill a number of times but was too scared to phone in ill, one time I had exceptionally bad flu, I had been in the previous day and after asking to go home was denied it and told to come off the tills (where at least I got to stay seated) and work on the shop floor, I rang in and told them I couldn't come in as I was ill. I went in the following Monday and was dragged into a meeting with the manager and assistant manager. I was basically told that it wasn't acceptable and that I could lose my job, that they didn't believe I wasn't well enough to come into work. Soon after I accidentally slept in for a 7am start one day, only by ten minutes but as I was getting ready for work rather than ring to see where I was they sent a duty manager to my doorstep!

Lidl are a horrible, disgusting company to work for, I was shouted and swore at by management because the floor machine was broken and I mopped the whole store by hand but had missed a bit, I refused to go into work for a week and was assured by the area manager that it would be sorted, I never heard anything. I was once accused of stealing from my till as it was down one evening and forced to pay £20 of my own money to put in the till, I was then put on a final warning by the area manager despite never having a verbal or written one first. I was constantly rang on my day off to come in on days off, if I worked a short shift such as 7am until 11am I was nagged to stay longer and if I said no the manager would change the rota there and then and tell me I was on the rota to stay later therefore have no choice, If I still refused he told me I was letting the team down and ultimately other members of staff would suffer and would be told it was my fault. We got dangerously high stacked pallets of stock that I was required to put out with only 15 minutes per pallet. I worked 60 hour weeks over Christmas.

Even though I was under a 20 hour contract if I didn't work the overtime they wanted me to it would be deducted from my wages as 'Under-time'. I was called in while I was on holiday, even once while I was actually not in the country I would still receive calls asking me to go in and not believing I was abroad. Stock Taking (more like p*ss taking') or inventory days were a joke, sometimes having to work from 7am until after midnight to count every last bit of stock in the shop, one time the area manager who was there with the store manager (who somehow got out of most of the work) denied us a proper break and thought that a short 10 minute cigarette break would suffice. After leaving the hell-hole I wasn't paid what I was owed and upon seeking legal action received threats of violence and death from people I assume who were relations or friends of staff telling me to drop legal action, I told my solicitor of the threats, Lidl promptly settled out of court.

I've just visited your website which I came across by chance as I was curious if there were any other Lidl employees, or ex-employees who came to the conclusion that they were being ripped off working for Lidl.
I WAS a stock picker at Lidl and like all Lidl employees, I too was lied to during the interview regarding overtime. I was contracted to 6 hours a day, yet on average I was working between 8-9 hours a day and started work at 1pm. I never met a single person working in there that didn't think that Lidl were taking advantage of their labour.
As you are aware, Lidl and big brother go hand in hand. They have pick rates to monitor your efficiency, in theory the quicker you pick the quicker the work gets done, the quicker you can get out of there, this is not the case; they drag the shift out by taking people out of busy areas and make them pick for the morning shift, increasing their (lidl) profit margin at the expense of your pocket and your free time.
They have no consideration for people with commitments. One of the employees wife worked nights and they had children. Lidl basically told him 'If you don't like the hours you work, quit'. I walked out of the place a few weeks ago. I refuse to work with a metaphorical gun to my head, and I refuse to be taken advantage of doing a job which gives you no incentive to achieve anything. Not even a tidy wage.
hi ive just read ur post on lidls. sorry you will have to excuse my grammer and spelling thro this email. i found every thing you posted about lidls is 100% true i am a lidls employe in scotland. for exampe my rota was up for to day saying i start at 6am finish 10 am which never ever happnes i finishd to day at 5:15 pm with one 30 min break i am not a manager i am just a scan slave. I have recently bein put in a situation i am now facing a fraud charge jue to my dep manager bulling me and black mailing me in to the sittuation and if i am found guilty with the fraud i am almost sertain for sacking under gross missconduct. for a non work related incedent i have always bein very good with the company always help them out with no questions asked. i have caught numerus people trying to shop lift and have pointed out members of public that they should watch and i get it thrown back into my face with interagations askin how i no these people i am a 20 year old male in a fairly small town so every one knows every one. i have now got a bad name for my self with others youngsters for stopping peolpe shop lifting, and the company are doing noting to help me with the matter of fraud. so i have bein asking about my non exsisting breaks which i am intiteld to and missing hours that i have worked. Im pretty shure u can guess what im going to say next my hours have bein cut drematticly for asking questions about what i am jue. Lidl is a horrific company to work for but work is little a and far between in my area. i just thought i would inform you of this sittuation so may be at sum point more people will learn what the company is acctually like.
I am so pleased to have found your site! I thought I was going insane! To find out that others have suffered what I have has helped me a great deal and I thank you for starting up this website.

I have worked for Lidl for nearly a year as a deputy store manager and it has nearly killed me mentally and physically. I have read all of the stories on your site and can relate to them all. When I started it was highlighted to me that Lidl was no longer the horror story it used to be, and that various measures had been put in place to ensure that these frightening conditions would no longer have to be endured by their work force. Unfortunately for me this was no true. The few measures they did introduce where as follows:
- constant visits from Head office auditors to check that rotas where correct and staff where infact not working to many hours. On paper/ computer this looked fine. But the hours I and the rest of the staff actually done was never a true reflection of this. I remember on a few shifts I was so tired I started to hallucinate. There was an atmosphere of fear and bullying that meant staff never spoke up for themselves
- managers would record that staff had had proper breaks. This was never the case. In all my shifts at Lidl I was lucky if I had a half hour break on a twelve or fourteen hour shift.
- introduction of a Peoples welfare officer. What a joke. This was suppose to be a person you could go to with such problems as described. The first time I spoke to her was after being at Lidl for a month, she called me and asked me how I was feeling and fitting in (while my manager was two feet away!) Obviously I felt I could not say anything. I was also informed by a manager that people who speak to her end up getting sacked eventually as the information just goes back to the management that you work with! The manager who warned me of this thought this was extremely funny .

To anyone even considering working for LIDL: DONT DO IT!

I am a hard working intelligent woman, who let them drag me down to the point where I was really unwell and had thought I was worth nothing. Its an impossible job to achieve, they give u countless jobs to do in an impossible time span making you feel so inadequate - thats how they get you. It was a horrible experience which will take me time to recover from and regain who I once was. No one human should have to put up with that, I'm just glad I woke up one day I said NO to Lidl and put myself first.

I've worked for Lidl for a number of years now. At the beginning I was a hard worker and very dedicated to earning a good wage, as I was young and the thought of money drove me. Now I must stress I have been a student till recently but prior to leaving education I stressed to my manager that I needed more hours, which shouldn't have been a problem regarding there for two 47 hour contracts leaving my store to transfer to another. I informed by store managed who was quick to dismiss me, he backed this up by playing the fool and saying, "Your DM won't allow it, he's not giving anyone bigger contracts." Now as I said, I've been with the company a number of years on a 10 hour contract... I was simply asking for a 20-25 hour contract as I am receiving over time but I can't live off of the possibilities that I could receive 20 hours over time one week and 5 the next. It's unsuitable and unstable. A few weeks a go I was informed that there was two new staff members joining the team, this baffled me as I was refused a bigger contract without any form of motivation of drive to get it for me, it was simple dismissal. I then was told a further two people were employed... On 20 hour contracts. Hearing this, I decided to contact my welfare officer who then contacted DM. I had a meeting with my DM recently and he flat out refused me for an increase in my hours, even when I explained to him that I was unable to keep risking my self finically by just doing over time which I see no benefit of. He simply didn't care and put it to me bluntly like I was a child that he needs more reliable staff, staff that will come in if someone calls in sick or is on holiday and that because I could only work Thursday to Sunday that I somehow wasn't reliable. For personally reasons that's the only days I can work but it's mainly weekends that are important in our store as is any so increasing me to 20 hours in my head is not a problem as I have been receiving that in overtime for the past couple of months and even went over that to sometimes 30. The best part of the interview was being called Kylie... This is not my name, far from it. And also the fact no manager has contacted this DM personally and said I was a good worker was also said to me, so in other words I am basically not worth his time and that I simply don't work hard enough. I do not trust most managers in my job, with the exception of two.

Another issue I would like to point out, and I am sure most of you will agree, that females are only good for tills and cleaning jobs. This is something that angers me as a female myself I am currently fighting to have this changed. There is as many managers as there is sales assistants in my store, only one of them is female and one male is currently being trained up. The males is able to do orders where is the female manager who has been a manager for 2 years now, has never been shown them and has been given the basic training. Her advice was to transfer to another store to 'get anywhere' with the company. I quizzed my DM about this and his reply back was a smug face and 'Thats where their strengths may lie.' he claimed that the storer manager was using people for their strengths, but in fact a lot of people haven't even been given the chance to even work on the shop floor to show what they can do. Also, I am 100% certain that rotas are worked in a way so that there is always a woman on a till, both day and night, on rare occasions a male is put onto main till. Is simply an act that is just casual now. I started work with two men on an opening around a week ago, one man and myself got tills, he took his first and proceeded to place his till into the second till, leaving me with the only option to put myself into first till. In theory, till should be rotated when the next person comes in and with the people that's second till in the morning with you... Not the case! Another male started at 11:30 and was allowed straight onto the shop floor. I should mention that I use to do night shifts for Lidl which is something most of the males refused to do for them, and I can understand why some females wouldn't like working on the shop floor as it is a hard task and they do demand a lot, however, I like being physically active in my job and my store manager knows I am capable of it but still continues to pick his favourites. We use to joke that his favourite people were at the top of the rota and the worst were at the bottom, now that I look more closely it's true. And to precisely capture my store managers words, "At least with new people joining the team you can move up the pecking order." I've been with the company years, the male who is currently being trained has been with the company less than me and he has had priority over myself for a long time because he is full time. It is sheer favouritism and who can bent over the furthest to be taken advantage of. Women are being taken advantage of in Lidl and it has to stop. I am sick of being overpowered by men who don't do their jobs properly and blame it on the staff.

I am not standing for it anymore. Lidl as a company is a joke and incredibly illegal. I hope one day they got brought down and brought down hard. Small men thinking they can control is something I hate, what these people don't realise is if they are a little bit nicer, a little bit more considerate, people will be willing to work and work hard! I have recently had to record every day I am in work, the time I arrived and exited the building, who I was working with, what my job was for that nite and what events took place.

I seen someone posted something about inventory... Well that's another joke. As a female and not living incredibly close to Lidl I need to travel by bus, the us takes around 10/15 minutes to get home but the busses stop after midnight. When it came to inventory night, everyone dreaded it and our store does not close until 10pm - also just to mention that because of this, on closes we usually have to stay back an hour over our time to finish everything and sometimes they do not pay us, in some cases people have has to stay back 2 hours - The counting starts at 6p, and can continue on till 2am!!! Now because the is no buses for me to get home it takes me around an hour to walk home and it isn't the safest place to be walking home from, I am always at risk of being attacked or worse! Yet some managers leave at the same time with their cars and offer no one lifts home nor do the company provide transport for any member if staff.

Lidl as a whole makes me sick and I am backed into a corner as the only good thing about the job is the fact I can ask to only work Thursday to Sunday for personal reasons and I do receive a good wage, which I doubt I would receive anywhere else. I can't run the risk of taking another job unless I know it's only Thursday till Sunday. I'm stuck and it's making my life incredibly depressing. There is no help and no one cares, there is no such thing as team work and there never will be. I refuse to be backed into a corner anymore and I am standing up for my rights as a human being.

I hope it burns.

I can't believe i have found this website, I honestly thought i was the only one who was thinking all of these things about LIDL.

For the 4 months i infortunately worked there, i was on a 20 hour contract which i told them i had to fit around my college days. They agreed to this when i first started. This is where the nightmare begun. The first week went ok, 'training' mostly. If that's what they liked to call training. I was shown round the shop and told to get on with it. I then got put onto a till where a Manager watched me for around 2 minutes before he left and i was left to get on with it again.

The first week wasnt particularly that bad, as i finished on time and given my breaks (which you assume you would normally get).
Time went on and thats when i realised that the job wasnt what i thought it would be, my 20 hour contract had turned into a 40 hour contract (without notice). When i called a Manager up about it i was asked if i had been speaking to other employees as he believed we were pulling together to try proove a point to them. It was then i stated that i couldnt fit in my college work with working.

When working 12 hour shift- expect a half hour break... even thought u r entitled to more. They say they will just pay u the rest of your break rather than take it! Why should it be up to them to decide whether u want a half hour break or not? Then other times dont expect breaks.. chances are you won't get one unless you plead with them.

You must turn up 10 minutes early for each shift... unpaid. You are expected to have no social life and stay on to cover other absences. You must also have eyes everywhere on your head to spot 'shoplifters' which isnt easy when you are trying to scan 35 items a minute through the till.

DONT even think about phoning in sick, as i recieved nothing but abuse from my Manager, who demanded to know my personal issues and arranged a meeting. After that i decided to get a Doctors sick note to proove i was unfit to work. Even whilst i was on sick i had voicemails asking me to cover in other shops and asking me when i was going back to work. That is when i decided to quit. Sent a resignment letter and i have never looked back since!!

There are MANY more times where i have been appalled at LIDL and how they treat there staff but i would literaly be here all day.

I worked for Lidl in Poland (I'm Polish) for almost 4 years and now unfortunately I stuck in Lidl in UK.
Most of examples from your website matches to UK and to Poland as well. I think it could be better from managers site but I know how ratty can be Area Manager. That's why Store Managers are ratty for Store Asisstants.

To be honest with you I hated Lidl in Poland, but in UK is quite better. I mean people are little bit nicely but one thing is really pissing me off-20h contract. I'm lucky because my husband has full time job and we don't have kids yet, but what with people with kids and mortgages? It's hard to live. When I was on interview that Area Manager promised me he will give me full time after 3-4 months. Today is over 2 years when I working at Lidl and still have part-time job because according Area Manager: he don't have more hours to my store :(

What else? Last year he gave me 1st warning because in 2010 I was on sickness too many times (that's what he said). That's true, I was sick couple times for 2-4 days and I was on long sickness because i had car accident and I spent 1 month to recover. He said that he understand that sickness after car accident but he have to give me a warning. And now he keep an eye on me for 12 months (about 8 months more :/ ).

I am a current Lidl employee and started during February of 2008, many managers have passed through the doors since I started in my particular store and the work ethic is simply diabolical.
My contract, like many, was for 20 hours a week, this started out at about 30 ish while training and then I was moved to a store nearer to my home when it opened. We were all new staff except for the manager and the deputy manager and as soon as the store was opened the shit hit the fan! My first day saw me start at 11 am and I was due to work ‘til close, which in my previous store was around 9:30-10:00PM……Myself and the then manageress were the last 2 staff left at the end of the shift and we got away finally at 02:30AM the following morning! Purely because no-one else was stupid enough to stay any later!

Over the coming months the shifts got longer and longer with very little in the way of breaks and consequently I was becoming ill due to lack of proper meal times. After almost collapsing on the shop floor no less than 3 times through sheer exhaustion of 50+ hours a week with barely enough time to drink a glass of water I decided enough was enough and reduced my time there to a manageable 30 hours or so, even this was tough without proper breaks and nourishment.

I remember arriving for my shift one afternoon at 3:00PM and a colleague saying “Am I glad to see you!” he had been on his shift since 7AM and hadn’t had a break AT ALL!!

This is common practice with staff regularly not getting their breaks.

More recently we have been told that we are only allowed 10 minutes to cash our tills up at the end of our shift (reasonable I think) anyone who takes longer than 10 minutes HAS to clock out and THEN finish cashing up in THEIR OWN TIME! Erm? I thought that once you clock out to leave work you are no longer covered under the company insurance if you had an accident while working?

Just the last week myself and another staff member were told to take holidays for the week during the inventory (a busy time and one that I have done many times before as I am one of the more accurate staff members for the inventory count) they then shipped in staff from a neighboring store and gave them the hours that we should have been offered!

In his infinite wisdom, the DM decided to fill some positions with far too many new employees and such made our store over staffed by 50 hours a week! Consequently ALL the staff has had their contracts cut by between 5-10 hours a week.

I remember that on 2 occasions in the 3 years I had been at the store I was late on 2 occasions. I live in rural Co. Donegal and on my way to work on these occasions I was held up behind tractors bringing turf in from the bogs (not uncommon where I lived) I was 3 minutes late which got me dragged into a disciplinary hearing. They weren’t interested in all the times I had stayed on past my contracted hours EVERY DAY since I had started and all the times I was in store BEFORE my shift was due to start and indeed all the times I had worked my shifts with NO BREAKS! Which is completely against the law anyway, but mention it to the management and you’re done for!!
Hindsight is wonderful and had I known it was this bad then they could have stuck their job up their asses! Still looking for a way out of Lidl as I type this.

Don’t get me started on the fact that if you are to do the bakery, then while doing the bake you have to start at 7AM and get the bakery done by 8:30AM as well as tend to the checkouts (only 1 cashier on first thing in the morning) as well as make sure the plants/flowers are also on the shop floor before 8AM. 5 times I told the manager that I was NEVER trained to do the bakery and still I get hounded when I am still working it at 9AM. My training consisted of…..There’s the prep room; there’s the ovens….figure it out and do it quick!

When I first started in Lidl in 2008 we had 4+ staff members to close the store and prepare it for the following day……Last night and most nights now we had………2! And we have more work to do now with the bakery and the new store layout.

The Rota's would change without warning and if you are unlucky enough to be on a day off and the Rota changes then I’m afraid you will need to get out the tarot cards and crystal ball as you will only know about the shift change when an irate manager phones you and rudely asks where the hell you are? As your shift started 10 minutes ago even though (to your knowledge) it doesn’t start for another 3 hours! The communication between managers and floor staff is non-existent.

Admittedly with any employment there is a certain amount of “give & take” with Lidl, the staff give and they take!

I couldn’t believe that there were so many other employees and past employees with the same views, I thought it was just the one store in Donegal (not saying which one just now) that was bad but it seems that this is a global issue.

I did a rather lengthy unpaid internship as a student in a Lidl shop in Finland this year (2017). According to the agreement, I was supposed to get to learn about various tasks. However, I was usually ordered to work at the checkout to be a substitute for ill absentees. Orientation to the tasks was scarce. I asked for alcohol and tobacco age restriction rules many times but didn’t receive them.

Lidl didn’t provide me with their work clothes or shoes. My own trousers wore through in the course of my work. The company wouldn’t lend me the necessary tools, so I brought a cutter knife and pens from home. I didn’t receive a key for certain doors and because of this I often had to sprint an extra distance of approximately 150 metres (about 500 feet). I moved glass splinters of returned bottles from one large container to another using my palms, because there was no shovel.

A manager pressed me to take a pallet using an electric pallet jack, when he himself was blocking my path to the pallet by standing in the way with another pallet. There was always a hurry in Lidl, but managers had the time to speak ill of the shop assistants behind their backs. When a shop assistant was off work ill, I was told the name of the illness, even though it was none of my business.

Every day I was there on time. I had a positive attitude towards the work and I always tried my best. The till was balanced almost always. Customers thanked me, because I was quick at checkout and helped them. However, Lidl didn’t pay a wage or grant free meals or any compensation. Hungrily I eyed food products.

At the end of my last shift I went to the office. There was a manager who was sitting with his back to me. I noticed my certificate of internship on the table. I had got bad marks. I hadn’t asked for assessment. Lidl wouldn’t even grant me a thank you or a handshake.

A number of articles had to be removed since the authors received anonymous threats.