Staff currently receive £9.30 an hour and Argos workers get £9 an hour, but this will rise to £9.50 from March. Meanwhile, staff at central London stores will see their hourly pay rise to £10.10.
A 3 per cent annual bonus will also be paid out, meaning a full-time worker will take home an extra £530.
The announcement comes after Lidl announced a £200 bonus for 23,000 UK workers, Aldi revealed wages will rise to a minimum of £9.55 an hour and Morrisons said workers at its stores will take home at least £10 an hour from April.
The latest pay rise from Sainsbury’s means workers there have seen salaries increase 24 per cent over the last five years.
The bonus is the third since the start of the pandemic and means that the group has handed out more than £100 million in extra cash to workers.
Last month, Sainsbury’s said it was on track for a multi-million-pound profit boost as the major supermarket players continue to benefit from restrictions on “non-essential” retailing.
An unplanned profit upgrade was revealed as bosses at the Big Four grocer said sales in the three months to January 2 were up a solid 8.6 per cent on a like-for-like basis.
Over the key festive period – measured by Sainsbury’s as the nine weeks to the same date – sales were even higher, growing by 9.3 per cent year-on-year.
Sainsbury’s and other major supermarkets had faced criticism earlier in the coronavirus crisis when attention appeared to be focused on handing out dividends to shareholders from the extra profits generated during the pandemic.
But several operators agreed to hand back cash saved from business rates holidays, increased pay rates, paid bonuses and agreed to Boxing Day holidays before making the dividend payments.
Clodagh Moriarty, retail and digital director at Sainsbury’s, said: “In the last 12 months our frontline colleagues have shown outstanding commitment to our customers.
“In recognition of everything they have achieved, we are giving them a pay rise, plus an additional one-off payment.”