Unilever has announced its accreditation as a living wage employer, on the same day that the Living Wage Foundation has increased its voluntary hourly rates.
All employers seeking accreditation from the foundation will now be required to pay staff a minimum of £8.25 per hour, an increase of 5% on the previous threshold of £7.85.
Unilever has committed to paying all 7,500 of its UK staff the new rate, including regular contractors, by the end of 2016.
“As a company committed to making sustainable living commonplace we believe it is right to raise the floor on wages,” said Tim Munden, HR director, Unilever UK.
“That is why we have been committed to paying our UK employees at least a living wage for some time. We are therefore delighted to take this next natural step in gaining accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation; it underlines our commitment to a living wage approach across our supply chain and it will ensure that hundreds more people working with us will be paid the living wage by the end of next year.”
The move will mean a pay rise for around 500 of the brand owner’s UK staff.
“We are delighted that Unilever is now an accredited living wage employer,” said Sarah Vero, director of the Living Wage Foundation. “It is a huge milestone to have one of the UK’s most successful and much-loved organisations join the living wage movement. Their accreditation means virtually every home across the UK will now have in its cupboards and on the kitchen table a product made by a living wage business.”
“It is in our DNA to be a responsible company,” added Munden. “Our accreditation today to the Living Wage Foundation goes hand in hand with our awardwinning wellbeing, family-friendly and agile working programmes.”