We all look forward to those little pay packets of joy at the end of every month. For some it’s a time to make a very important list of all the usually non-essential things you’ve had your eye on for the last month, while for others it’s a case of watching the pennies and to think about what to do without for the next four weeks. We all earn varying amounts but according to official figures jobs shop assistants and customer service operators are some of the lowest paid people in the UK.
Churches, charities and The Living Wage Foundation have all been campaigning against low pay and fighting for a living wage. Now, it would seem there’s been a significant breakthrough with fashion and gift retail Oliver Bonas becoming the first high street chain to pay the national living wage. All of its staff over 18 will be paid £7.85 an hour with employees based in London receiving £9.15. With around 500 employees across their 43 shops and warehouses, they’ll certainly be looking forward to receiving their pay slips this month.
The national living wage which came as part of George Osborne’s summer budget will be brought in next April. It will see over 25s receiving at least £7.20 an hour before rising to £9 by 2020, replacing the current minimum wage of £6.50 an hour. This could mean a pay raise for millions of people however some retailers have hit back saying that it could be too expensive and could mean a loss of jobs as well as a possible loss in profit.
As a B2B PR agency we see lots of bad press about the state of our high street, so it’s great to see one UK retailer take the plunge towards ending the low wage culture of our British high streets, and creating some great PR for its business at the same time. Click here to read more about how proud they are of being involved in a very significant milestone in the fight for the living wage.
Katherine Wilding is Skout’s newest recruit and a PR apprentice.